PMI Foundation clamours for a smoke-free world
The PMI Foundation, a self-governed organisation with an independent Board of Directors at the forefront of a Smoke-Free World, has used the occasion of the world not tobacco day to further clamour for a smoke-free world.
It will be recalled that during the world no tobacco day, Philip Morris International (PMI) issued a statement reminding authorities and stakeholders of the importance for people who smoke and those who care about being afforded a deserved chance to learn about smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes
“For people who will otherwise continue to smoke, WHO is in the perfect position to drive switching from cigarettes to sensible alternatives. A policy that informs people about those alternatives—in essence, a World No Smoking Day—would reduce smoking prevalence to a far greater extent and at a much faster rate than the existing suite of tobacco-control measures alone,” said André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer.
“People who smoke deserve a sensible plan that takes full account of better alternatives to cigarettes. For our part, we’re determined to deliver a smoke-free future through innovations that stand up to scientific scrutiny and that meet consumer needs.”
PMI has already committed $4.5bn in supporting a team of 400 world-class scientists, engineers and technicians who have spent years creating and testing a range of smoke-free products that offer a much better choice for the millions of smokers who don’t quit. More than 5 million smokers worldwide have already completely abandoned cigarette smoking and switched to IQOS, PMI’s heated tobacco product, with 10,000 smokers switching every single day. And PMI is not the only company pursuing innovation as important to the world’s 1 billion smokers worldwide—the tobacco industry generally is beginning to move in this direction, to the benefit of men and women who smoke.
“Our short-term ambition is that one out of three of our consumers, 40 million men and women who smoke, will have switched to better alternatives by 2025. Ultimately, we want to be in a position to stop selling cigarettes entirely. However, we need the support of governments and the public health community to make this happen in as short a time as possible. I believe that instead of just designating one day as World No Tobacco Day, we should promote every day as World No Smoking Day,” said Calantzopoulos.
PMI is proposing that governments and authorities investigate thoroughly how scientifically substantiated smoke-free products can be used as a complementary public health strategy alongside smoking prevention and cessation. With appropriate government control and oversight, these products can have a meaningful and positive impact on public health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that there will be more than 1 billion people who smoke in 2025, about the same number as today. Their best choice would be to quit—but many don’t. It makes sense that these men and women should have access to and information about less-harmful alternatives to cigarettes. Why would anyone deny them this opportunity? PMI is calling for an additional, bold approach to public health and has set up the PMI Foundation to champion the cause for a smoke-free world.
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