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Marlboro maker teams up with Vice for vaping push

Philip Morris strikes £5m sponsored content deal to promote ecigarettes.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has teamed up with youth-focused Vice Media to promote vaping surprising health campaigners. 

Vice has agreed a deal with PMI (makers of Marlboro) to produce sponsored content endorsing ecigarettes, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. One said the deal would cost the tobacco group £5m and that the campaign was due to start in April.

The push comes amid a global regulatory clampdown on cigarette advertising, following decades of tobacco companies underplaying the risks of smoking and past industry practices of targeting younger consumers in an attempt to hook them at an early age.

Like other tobacco groups, the seller of Marlboro cigarettes outside the US has shifted focus to non-combustible nicotine products as traditional smoking wanes. PMI, the biggest cigarette company in the world by sales, said in an investor presentation last month that it expected “reduced-risk” products, such as its flagship IQOS device, to account for roughly 40 per cent of total revenues by 2025, up from just under 14 per cent, or $4.1bn, last year.

Read the original article at the Financial Times website

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