PMI seeks wider collaboration for better alternatives to harmful smoking
For Nigeria to achieve a smoke-free future, Federal Government has to partner the producers and importers of tobacco products to work out modalities for better alternatives to harmful tobacco products.
The Vice President, Market Activation and Support, Philip Morris International (PMI), Tommaso Di Giovanni, disclosed this during a media interactive session in Lagos.
He said discussions are ongoing in many countries on how to un-smoke the world with improved non-combustible products made possible by technology.
The company has been at the forefront of the campaign across countries on the need for smokers to embrace smoke-free products like e-cigarette and Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs), as better alternatives for adult smokers.
Calling on governments and civil societies to update their knowledge about smoking with current data and information, he disclosed that Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco among others are already adopting the PMI’s idea and called on Nigeria to emulate the countries.
Giovanni said: “There are lots of improvements and development brought about by science and technology with regard to tobacco smoking.
The information about tobacco products 10 years ago is outdated. The industry is evolving and we should not anchor our plans, decisions or policy design on emotions.
“Many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa are subscribing to de-smoke and un-smoking the world through improved products. We believe it would be ideal for government to think about progress, instead of paying the cost of harmful effects of tobacco smoking.”
Corroborating Giovanni’s position, the Director EA Nigeria, PMI, Mojisola Akpata, said: “PMI is actively working to expand its purpose and evolve into a broader lifestyle, consumer wellness and healthcare company, extending its value proposition and innovative capability to commercialise products that go beyond tobacco and nicotine.
“We have over a period leveraged science and technology to develop, assess and commercialise less harmful alternatives products, and we are making tremendous progress towards a smoke-free future by disrupting our business to achieve a bold vision, replace cigarettes with science-based smoke-free products.”
Akpata hinted that the interest of over one billion smokers across the globe is at the centerpiece of their discourse, adding that with the right regulatory frameworks, dialogue and support from civil society, cigarette sales would be over within the next 10 to 15 years in many countries.
The General Manager of the company in Nigeria, Okechukwu Aguoru, who advised the media, government, CSOs and others to help the public
with the right information, said the best choice for smokers is to quit tobacco and nicotine products entirely.
“Smoke is the main concern because of its high-level harm and it is a primary source of smoking-related diseases found in cigarette smoke.
We all must be careful of misleading information. Science and technology have made life better for all of us and it is our responsibility to scan through and pick the information that can make us better persons and leave a legacy for the coming generations.