Phillip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri, a long time smoker himself, claims that quitting smoking is not that hard. Now I wonder if, as the CEO of the country’s largest cigarette seller, he has any financial incentive to say that? The number of smokers does continue to slowly decline and I have seen stories that state that upwards of 70% of smokers would like to quit. If, as Camilleri claims, it was not that hard to quit, I bet many of those 70% would have stopped already. Companies like Phillip Morris depend on a steady supply of new, young, smokers to stay profitable. If they can spin out a message that young people do not have to worry about smoking because they can always easily quit later, (before they go the way of the Marlboro man), then the Phillip Morris bottom line can only be helped.
I suspect this is a cynical, planned, PR campaign designed to make smoking seem like less of a risk to teens. But who knows, I guess there is no way of being sure this is just not another CEO speaking before he thinks. Anyway here is a link to the full Camilleri smoking controversy. Read it and see what you think. As an interesting aside, if you have not read it and the comments, one of the most popular pages here over the past few months is this article on e-cigarettes.
And here is a link I just found to a guy who said all this in many fewer words: The Face of an Idiot.