Philip Morris International (PMI) is marking World No Tobacco Day by publishing a call to the global regulatory and public health community to leave aside ideological differences and instead leverage technology, science and innovation to more rapidly improving public health.
World No Tobacco Day is meant to improve public health by addressing the serious issues related to smoking and tobacco use. It is clear, however, that despite the well-known health risks associated with smoking, many people continue to smoke and will do so in the near future. 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. While the best choice would be to quit, many people who smoke don’t.
“In the late 1990s, some of our company’s fiercest critics challenged us to produce less harmful smoke-free products. We listened—and accepted the challenge,” said Jacek Olczak, PMI’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s taken hundreds of scientists, thousands of tests and billions of dollars to invent products without cigarette smoke: Smoke-free products that don’t burn tobacco, products that adult smokers can switch to completely and not return to cigarettes.”
These smoke-free products contain nicotine and are not risk-free. However, the science shows they are a better choice than continuing to smoke. PMI shares its science and data openly with the scientific and medical communities, as well as with governments throughout the world.
Old ideological fights are confusing smokers and those who care about them. While many health experts and governments today clearly support the adoption of smoke-free alternatives for adult smokers who would continue smoking, others prefer to focus on past issues. This just misdirects the conversation.
“Adults who smoke deserve access to smoke-free alternatives backed by solid science. They also deserve current information in order to make their own choices,” said Olczak. “By encouraging the men and women who don’t quit to completely adopt smoke-free alternatives, we can eventually leave cigarettes behind. That’s the smoke-free future.”
Put simply: It’s time to unsmoke.