Marlboro cigarettes are set to disappear from UK shelves within the next 10 years, to be replaced with modern alternatives.
Philip Morris International is hoping that customers will switch to vapes which are considered less harmful.
The tobacco giant has sold the Marlboro brand in the UK for more than 100 years and is now aiming to phase out traditional smoking.
Chief executive Jacek Olczak shared his vision of a smoke-free future for the company and the industry.
“We are going into the territory nobody ever tried to unsmoke the world,” he said.
“The science exists today and there is no time to spare to solve the problem of smoking.
“It is not only about how Philip Morris becoming smoke free but how we can transform the entire industry.”
To achieve this goal within a reasonable time, Philip Morris must work with governments, regulators, NGOs and the public at large, he added.
The company has also invested in nicotine alternatives including its own IQOS product which heats tobacco rather than burning it.
By 2025, the firm aims to make half of its total net revenues from smoke free products after achieving almost a quarter of net revenues from such items last year.
It also aims to be fully carbon neutral by 2050, which Mr Olczak believes to be “absolutely achievable.”
“The prime cause of harm generated by smoking is an outcome of the combustion,” he explained.
“When you burn the cigarette, when you burn the tobacco, you release the thousands of chemicals. Many of those chemicals are very bad for the human body.
“If you eliminate the combustion, you can achieve a very, very significant reduction in exposure to the toxicants.”
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said on Saturday that smoking will claim more lives than coronavirus in 2021.
“The standard estimate is that it causes over 90,000 deaths every year,” he told a lecture hall at Gresham College in London.
“So this year and last year, it is likely more people will have died of smoking-related disease than Covid.”
Tobacconist Philip Morris opened a factory in 1873 on Great Marlborough Street in Soho, central London.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Mr Olczak said Philip Morris would stop selling cigarettes in the UK within 10 years and that the Marlboro brand would disappear.