By Charlotte Webster-
Piers Morgan today gave the boss of one of the world’s largest cigarette company’s a mother of all grilling after he appeared on Good Morning Britain to urge smokers to switch to another brand of apparently less harmful substance. Uk Morgan rebuked and ridiculed Peter Nixon, the UK managing director for Philip Morris, for behaving hypocritically through his quest to get smokers to give up cigarettes.
Phillip Morris produces 800 billion cigarettes globally every year. The cigarette boss also admitted he has given up smoking, leading co- presenter Susanna Reid to brand his campaign ‘staggeringly hypocritical’.
When asked why he could not impose a total ban on cigarettes from his company:He said: ‘I’d love to stop selling cigarettes. But we would go out of business and that wouldn’t mean people give up they would just switch to another brand.
‘There are going to be smokers in the UK for another 30 or 40 years, but there’s no reason for people to smoke anymore.
‘We have been investing in alternative products and I have put all my energy into converting people from the most harmful form of tobacco, which is cigarettes, to less harmful, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.
In a desperate attempt to redeem himself, Nixon pointed out that his annual bonus is dependent on the number of smokers he can get to switch to alternative tobacco products per year. His campaign to get smokers to switch was also torn apart after GMB health editor Dr Hilary said that although vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, Philip Morris’s heated tobacco products
Mr Nixon on why Philip Morris spends £94million on TV advertising in Indonesia, where youngsters are also targeted.
Morgan, who at one point in the programme, asked if Nixon was a killer, asked the company managing director why he could not just take cigarettes off the market as immediately as tomorrow. After forcing the manager to admit that financial considerations was the main reason, he said ”what’s surprising is that this is coming from you.”
Nixon’s appearance on National No Smoking Day on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to urge smokers to switch to his allegedly less harmful new heated tobacco products was exposed at every turn as man who prioritises financial gain over the lives of smokers. Susanna Reid joined Morgan in condemning the handsomely paid managing director, who admitted he has been very lucky to earn a good living as managing director of a tobacco company.
. Mr Nixon accepted his firm’s products contributed to an estimated 78,000 smoking-related deaths in the UK every year.He told the programme: ‘People die because of cigarettes and we sell them. I take that very, very seriously.’We are part of the problem but we want to be part of the solution. What we’re trying to do is give alternatives to smokers.’