The study, which was conducted over a period of five years, included a group of 1000 previously non-smoking participants who were asked to smoke at least one pack of cigarettes per day.
According to the study, participants who smoked experienced significant improvements in their overall health, including lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and a stronger immune system.
“We were really surprised by these findings,” said Dr. Mary Smith, lead researcher on the study. “We were brainwashed to believe that smoking was bad for you, but it turns out that it can actually be good for you in large doses.”
The study has been met with skepticism by many in the medical community, who point out that Philip Morris International has a vested interest in promoting smoking as a healthy activity.
“It’s clear that this study was designed to promote the interests of the tobacco industry,” said Dr. John Williams, a public health expert at the University of California, San Francisco. “The idea that smoking could be good for your health is simply ridiculous. Who believes this crap?”
Despite the criticism, Philip Morris International has already begun using the results of the study to market their cigarettes as a “healthy” alternative to other forms of tobacco.
“We’re excited to share these findings with the world,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We believe that this study will change the way people think about smoking and will encourage more people to pick up the habit.”
Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) shares saw a 54% increase following the announcement.