Jacek Olczak, the chief executive officer of Marlboro maker Philip Morris International, said the company will stop selling cigarettes in the United Kingdom within a decade.

Olczak said the move was part of the company's goal to become smoke-free and to help end the use of traditional cigarettes, as Philip Morris transitions to a "health care and wellness company," Financial Times said.

Olczak is urging the British government to treat cigarettes like petrol cars, which will be banned from being sold in the UK starting in 2030, the report said.

"The company could see the world without cigarettes...and actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone," The Telegraph quoted Olczak as saying.

Philip Morris has come under fire from anti-smoking advocates who accused the company of hypocrisy after it launched earlier this month a 1 billion-pound acquisition bid for Vectura, a British pharmaceutical company that makes asthma inhalers.

In February, Philip Morris announced its target to generate more than half of total net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025.

The company also said it was aiming to earn at least $1 billion in net revenues by 2025 from "Beyond Nicotine" products, Money Control reported.

Campaigners say the public should not trust cigarette makers to lead a campaign that would outlaw smoking, especially when they are continuing to sell and promote cigarettes in low-income nations where most of the world's smokers live.

Tobacco makers have been transitioning into cigarette alternatives such as vapes and electronic cigarettes.

Philip Morris currently generates 25% of its sales from alternatives like its electronic IQOS device that heats tobacco instead of burning it.

According to the World Health Organization, smoking kills more than 8 million people worldwide each year.