British Tobacco Boss Says She Won’t Try To Stop Her Daughters From Smoking

Alison Cooper is the chief executive of Imperial Brands.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish child smokes a cigarette during a wedding.
Lior Mizrahi / Getty Images

Alison Cooper is the chief executive of Imperial Brands.

The packaging on cigarettes and other tobacco products warn of the risks of smoking to your health, but British tobacco boss Alison Cooper of the company Imperial Brands says that she won’t stop her own children from taking up the habit.

The Daily Mail said that Cooper, CEO of the company based in Bristol, England, admits that she is aware of the health warnings on the labels, but said she has raised her two daughters, ages 15 and 23, to make up their own minds.

“I’ve always tried to bring them up in a way that they make their own choices in life from an informed position,” sh said.

In a recent interview, she was asked if she would feel let down if either of her children started smoking, and she said that she believes that disappointment is a waste of time for a mother. Cooper admitted that she doesn’t smoke cigarettes herself, but said she does occasionally smoke a cigar.

Cooper said she hopes that her company, which she joined in 2010, will stop selling cigarettes in her lifetime, but the sale of cigarettes has served her well, as she made more than $5 million in 2017, which was a more than $1.5 million raise from the previous year.

Cooper has also said as CEO of Imperial Brands that she is looking at incorporating cannabis into the company’s products, reported Bloomberg. She explained that as the head of the company, she needs to find a way to combat the decline in cigarette smoking with other products.

“It’s an interesting space to explore,” she said.

Cooper said she’s particularly interested in the ways that cannabis can aid in the wellness division.

“It covers a wide range of mood-enhancing types of aspects, things like helping you get to sleep at night or wind down. We want to understand it more,” she said.

Imperial Brands is also making the move into heated not burned tobacco products with Pulze, which will be launched in Japan. Cooper added that even though the electronic cigarette market doesn’t involve tobacco, that is another direction that she wants to head up overseas.

“We’re going to be driving the vapor opportunity.”

Cooper said that despite her thoughts for her own children, her company will not be marketing any products to minors, saying that her company’s target market is “adult smokers,” reported The Times.

Cooper admitted that Imperial Brands has sent cigarettes to “influencers,” but only those social media stars over the age of 18.