STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Philip Morris International is one of the world’s largest tobacco companies and it’s bringing 200 jobs to the city of Stamford.
The move takes the company headquarters out of New York and into Connecticut. The city’s newly elected mayor says it’s a positive sign coming out of the pandemic.
The headquarters of Philip Morris International, the parent company of Marlboro, will now call the UBS building in downtown Stamford home.
“This is part of the Connecticut Comeback: we are open for business. We are so excited that international companies like Philip Morris are coming to our city,” said Mayor-elect Caroline Simmons.
Three years ago, the building was vacant. As the pandemic slows, the space is 95 percent full.
“WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.] is taking over the old UBS trading floor. General Atlantic has moved in, and several others,” Simmons said.
Philip Morris expects to bring $50 million in economic revenue through a hybrid workforce. Two hundred workers, mostly finance and marketing, will have desks in Stamford.
“The likely format of work that will emerge for companies across the world and we are part of that is somewhat hybrid,” said Deepak Mishra, president of Americas Regions for Philip Morris International.
But not everyone is happy to see Philip Morris move in.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is an advocacy group that tracks tobacco and nicotine use across the country.
President of Tobacco-Free Kids, Matthew Myers, told News 8 on Monday, “It’s an unfortunate situation that public officials think that trading a few jobs to promote a company whose products promote such devastation is appropriate…What is going to be the true test of time is if Governor Lamont supports legislation to ban the sale of all flavored nicotine-containing products.”
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says almost a third of all Connecticut high schoolers use e-cigarettes and 800 kids become new daily smokers each year.
Philip Morris International says 15 million people have switched off cigarettes and onto their newest innovation, which has been authorized by the FDA.
“That’s a little stick with a tiny bit of tobacco in it…you use it more or less like you’re using a cigarette or vaping device,” Mishra explained.
Connecticut’s new proposed ban on flavored vapes doesn’t apply to IQOS. It’s a heated tobacco, not a vaping product, though just as harmful.
“I think they’re doing the right thing by weaning people off of cigarettes and making sure they have a safer alternative and I’m glad they’re here in Connecticut,” Gov. Lamont said.
The Philip Morris heated tobacco product is only sold in four cities around the country.