LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM) today celebrates Astypalea (Greece), the first Smoke-Free Culture certified island in the world. The Greek island has successfully built a culture where people are encouraged to remove cigarette smoke from their lives.
The island received the Smoke-Free Culture certification from TUV Austria, a leading independent certification organization, recognizing their commitment to reduce cigarette smoking by implementing and continuously improving a set of actions that encourage quitting, which remains the best option for smokers’ health, or switching to better alternatives if they do not quit.
TUV Austria developed the independent certification protocol in 2018. It conducts audits to verify whether an organization fulfils the requirements defined by the protocol and, when the independent audit is successful, awards the organization with the certification; ensuring an objective, impartial and fully documented assessment. The certification is available for a variety of organizations including events, corporations and locations, for example cities, towns, islands and other destinations.
“We are proud to support this initiative and congratulate Astypalea on their efforts. We hope that other destinations around the world will follow their example by embracing a smoke-free culture,” said Frederic de Wilde, President European Union Region at PMI.
The island embraced the smoke-free culture, including by adding it to their visual identity and placing information boards at the airport, port, beaches and the historic windmills area to inform locals and visitors. In addition to ensuring that anti-smoking law is respected, they offer information and support to adult smokers about quitting smoking. For those adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke they provide information about better alternatives.
“The best thing smokers can do is to quit tobacco and nicotine products entirely. However, many of them do not. Those adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke should have information about better alternatives to continued smoking,” added Frederic de Wilde.
Burning is what generates the vast majority of the harmful chemicals found in smoke and associated with smoking-related diseases. Smoke-free products are not risk-free and contain nicotine, which is addictive, but they generate significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals than cigarettes and, when manufactured according to appropriate quality and safety standards, are a better choice for adult smokers than continued smoking.
With the ambition to accelerate the achievement of a smoke-free future, Philip Morris International introduced the concept of Smoke-Free Destinations – destinations that have, first, successfully implemented the Smoke-Free Culture certification and, next, that provide services and spaces that enable adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to learn about smoke-free products like PMI’s heated tobacco product, IQOS, and to consume these and other smoke-free products in designated areas which are in-turn free of cigarette smoke.
About Philip Morris International: Delivering 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, please visit http://www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.