(WTNH) — The future of Connecticut’s job market is looking much stronger thanks to a company more than 200 years old.
Philip Morris International (PMI) announced Tuesday it will be relocating its U.S. corporate headquarters from New York City to Connecticut. The move will bring 200 jobs into the state, according to PMI.
Gov. Ned Lamont and AdvanceCT board co-chairs Indra Nooyi and James Smith, along with PMI’s CEO Jacek Olczak, discussed the move Tuesday morning.
“They liked our lifestyle, they liked our schools, they liked the relationship…they are going to grow their corporate headquarters right here,” said Gov. Lamont.
The move comes as the company continues to rebrand itself; the goal is to create a smoke-free future through various new products.
“I believe the faster we achieve our smoke-free objectives, it will be for everyone; the smokers, the society…we are very committed to the objective,” said PMI CEO Olczak.
The governor added, “I understand they have an FDA product called IQOS. It’s been out there for a while. It stands for I Quit Ordinary Smoking. They’re moving those who smoke to a safer alternative.”
But some say the timing of this announcement is deeply troubling.
Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, pointed out that just a week ago, the state legislature killed a bill that would have stopped the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Now PMI says they’re moving to Connecticut.
Connecticut leaders should not be welcoming today’s announcement by global cigarette giant Philip Morris International that it is moving its corporate headquarters to their state. They should not fall for Philip Morris’ empty promises that it is committed to a smoke-free future.“Matthew Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
He goes on to say, “Philip Morris is bringing a very small number of jobs here. Many of the individuals property already live in Connecticut. [They] will not manufacture a single product in Connecticut and yet Marlboro and Phillip Morris’s products across the globe will continue to kill and harm young people.”
He says it’s time for governments to say they have a better way of filling tax coffers.
The new headquarters is expected to open by next summer. The maker of Marlboro cigarettes has not said where in Fairfield County its headquarters will be located.