From sunscreen to seatbelts, innovations to reduce the harm caused by certain behaviors and activities are woven into our everyday lives.
PMI is calling for a similar approach to be applied to the known risks of smoking.
We’re transforming for good to deliver smoke-free products to adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes.
But, to achieve our vision of a smoke-free future, we need all key parties—from governments to the scientific community—to recognize the important role these products play in societal harm-reduction efforts.
There’s no doubt that the best choice for all those who smoke is to quit tobacco and nicotine completely. But we know that many adults won’t quit, and these people deserve access to better alternatives to continued smoking. These innovations exist and are driving real change.
Smoke-free products do not burn tobacco and, hence, emit fewer and lower levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared to the smoke of a cigarette.
We believe adult smokers who don’t quit tobacco and nicotine altogether deserve access to smoke-free products—and accurate information about them. Research shows that in any given year, more than nine out of ten smokers will continue to smoke.
As a result, leading public health agencies estimate that there will still be approximately one billion smokers in 2025—roughly the same number as today. This demonstrates that cessation strategies alone, while effective, are not sufficient.
Of course, the best choice for any smoker is to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether. Scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives contain nicotine and are not risk-free, but are a much better choice than continued smoking.
Therefore, discouraging people from smoking and encouraging those who do smoke to quit must continue.
However, supplementing these measures with a tobacco harm reduction approach can accelerate a decline in smoking.
If better alternatives to smoking are made available, and enough smokers switch to them, we can more rapidly achieve a significant milestone in global health—a world without cigarettes.