LAHORE - Global tobacco giant Philip Morris International has announced that its new year's resolution is to give up cigarettes manufacturing.

In an unusual move, the tobacco company recently placed full-page adverts in several UK newspapers claiming that the firm's "New Year's resolution" for 2018 is to "stop selling cigarettes."

"Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it's our turn," reads the advert.

"Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes. It won't be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality. There are 7.6 million adults in the UK who smoke. The best action they can take is to quit smoking," it says.

Philip Morris said it aims to replace cigarettes with alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, "which are a better choice," and which it is rolling out in countries worldwide.

In addition to new products, Philip Morris said it plans to offer support to local stop-smoking services where smoking rates are highest and said it would seek UK government approval to include information about quitting smoking in cigarette packs.

“We believe we have an important role to play in helping the UK become smoke-free. The commitments announced today are practical steps that could accelerate that goal," said Peter Nixon, managing director of Philip Morris.

"We recognise that never starting to smoke — or quitting altogether — are always the best option. But for those who continue to smoke, there are more alternatives than ever available in the UK."

To date, the firm has invested £2.5 billion into the research and development of smoke-free products to date, it said.