LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE:PM) today launched “The Year of Unsmoke,” an urgent call to action to smokers, nonsmokers, regulators and agents of change across the world to drive a better future for the world’s 1.1 billion smokers and their families, loved ones and communities.
The call to action stems from the knowledge that despite global efforts to encourage people to quit or not to start smoking, the World Health Organization predicts that there will still be approximately the same number of people who smoke in 2025 as do today.
Jacek Olczak, PMI’s chief operating officer, announced the company’s ambition to lead the way toward truly global change: “It should be crystal clear: If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t quit, change. That’s unsmoking. It is a fact that burning generates the vast majority of harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. Eliminating the combustion dramatically reduces the levels of harmful chemicals. There is a growing consensus among scientists and public health experts that products that do not burn and are backed by science are a much better choice than cigarettes.”
PMI’s mission is to create a smoke-free future backed by science, technology and innovation to offer less harmful choices to those who would otherwise continue smoking.
Mr. Olczak added: “Many people and organizations still prefer to focus on an ideological fight. The controversy they generate continues to confuse people who smoke, and those skeptics are quickly becoming the biggest advocates of continued cigarette smoking. The consequences of this confusion are that people continue to smoke cigarettes, whose harmful effects are well known. It is common sense to move away from ideology and take concrete steps forward together toward a common goal: remove smoke from our world and encourage 1.1 billion men and women to switch to better alternatives if they do not quit.”
The company launched the initiative as a rallying cry to drive global progress, as well as to end a political stalemate in policymaking about better alternatives to cigarette smoking.
The “Year of Unsmoke” will help to drive this goal, through conversation around the importance of going smoke-free, extending to smokers, nonsmokers, engaged citizens, policymakers, regulators and key stakeholders. “To enable people to make an informed choice about the better alternatives that are available to them is the right thing to do, and policymakers have a crucial role in making that happen. We are asking for a unified global conversation to drive real change.”
A new study, commissioned by PMI and carried out by respected global research company Povaddo, said eight out of 10 (79 percent) people globally, support PMI working with governments, regulators and public health experts to phase-out cigarettes in favor of smoke-free alternatives, and 73 percent believe it is a good thing for PMI to transform its business model away from cigarettes and to only sell alternatives like e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products.
The “Year of Unsmoke” kicks off a campaign called “Unsmoke Your World.” The core message for the campaign, which PMI hopes to seed across the world, is:
If you don’t smoke, don’t start
If you smoke, quit
If you don’t quit, change
To unsmoke is to rid smoke from your life. It unites smokers and nonsmokers who want to unsmoke themselves, family and friends. The best way to unsmoke is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether; the next best way is to change to better alternatives.
To date, PMI has invested over USD$6 billion in the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of smoke-free products and dedicated 400+ scientists and engineers to research and development.
Philip Morris International: Building a Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the U.S. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. For more information, see our PMI and PMIScience websites.
About Unsmoke Your World
PMI is transforming its business and increasing awareness of the urgent need to become smoke-free as well as awareness of better alternatives for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. PMI is producing smoke-free products that are a better choice for smokers than continued cigarette smoking and can benefit public health.
Unsmoke is a PMI initiative to speed up an historic change in public health. Through the Unsmoke movement we want to bring together a community of people who can accelerate this change by becoming advocates of the message that for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, there are better alternatives to choose from.
Unsmoke Your World is a global conversation that inspires human stories—for the people, by the people.
About the Povaddo Survey
This survey was carried out March 26-28,2019, by Povaddo, an international opinion research firm, on behalf of Philip Morris International. The survey fielded a total of 4,545 online interviews among legal age, general population adults across 20 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 1.5% at the 95 percent confidence interval.