Smoking is still ranked as an important public health issue alongside obesity, alcoholism and opioid use in terms of importance. Importantly, the multinational survey shows strong support for the role that innovation and technology should play in resolving these global health problems.
The results also showed that 86 percent of respondents believe consumer goods companies have an obligation to continually research and innovate their products in the interest of public health. However, only 35 percent thought that governments have done a good job to ensure everyone has access to the latest innovations and advancements. Clearly, society does not want governments to block promising solutions to public health problems.
Publication of the study results follows a meeting of the
“The science is clear. The evidence shows that switching to a smoke-free product is a better choice than continuing to smoke. We simply cannot keep smokers in the dark about this information. The COP missed an opportunity to put people and science at the heart of its policymaking,” added Dr. Gilchrist.
Contrary to common sense, the tobacco industry has been discouraged from innovating and inadvertently encouraged to keep cigarettes at the core of their business models. Despite this, at PMI we will not waiver from our commitment to provide the world’s 1.1 billion smokers with better alternatives to cigarettes, as well as information about these options.
Countries now have the opportunity to implement local regulations that embrace science and technology. Progressive polices can effectively protect overall population health, while still working in the best interests of men and women who smoke.
“With any other global problem, from the environment to obesity, everyone works together to deliver better alternatives, inform people about them and incentivize them to change behavior. Why should this common sense approach not apply to tobacco?” concluded Dr. Gilchrist.
The clear call from society for more information about, and access to, better alternatives to cigarettes did not come without important caveats that we support. Of those surveyed, 92 percent agreed that these new products must have robust scientific testing prior to being introduced into the market, and 91 percent agreed that once these products have been introduced their impact needs to be monitored to ensure they are reducing the harm caused by cigarettes.
* Conducted by
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manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other nicotine-containing
products in markets outside
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