September 11, 2019
Misinformation, Lack of Access and Confusion Hamper the Ability of Smokers Who Don’t Quit to Consider Better Alternatives, a New International Study from PMI Shows
“There is currently a tremendous amount of misinformation circulating about smoke-free products, and this is causing confusion. It is one of the biggest hurdles the world faces in becoming smoke-free,” said
Untruths and Consequences
The white paper looks at the public appetite for a better conversation around how to make cigarettes a thing of the past—it’s a desire that’s not being fulfilled. While four in five respondents agreed that change is needed, just over half of the adult smokers surveyed (55 percent) said they have the information they need to make an informed choice about smoke-free products. In
Demand for information is strong: 90 percent of the public is aware of e-cigarettes, and nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) current smokers said they would be more likely to consider switching to better alternatives such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products if they had clearer guidance on how these products differ from cigarettes. Across the 13 countries, the strongest consideration of switching as a result of better information was shown by the Latin American countries:
The Impact of Smoking on Relationships
The report explores the current mindset toward smoking of both smokers and nonsmokers, and the role smoking—and unsmoking—plays in personal and social relationships.
Quitting cigarettes and nicotine altogether is the best option, but compared to continued smoking, using smoke-free alternatives may have less of an impact on personal relationships. Almost half of former smokers (48 percent) who have switched to smoke-free alternatives reported improved relationships with family and friends since switching, and 45 percent reported that their social lives have improved as a result, with a slightly higher proportion of men than women reporting this improvement (48 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively).
Intimate relationships are not the only ones affected: The survey revealed that unsmoking could have a positive impact on social lives. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of nonsmokers stated they don’t like visiting smokers’ homes because they feel uncomfortable being around smoke. Even outside the home, nonsmokers say the worst smell of cigarettes is on smokers’ clothes (77 percent). This was a major dislike in all age groups: 21-34 years (74 percent), 35-54 years (78 percent), 55-74 years (79 percent). There was little difference in views between genders, with 75 percent of men and 79 percent of women agreeing that the worst smell of a smoker is their clothes.
Unsmoking may offer further opportunities to close the social gap between smokers and nonsmokers. According to the survey, smokers experience social awkwardness—with half (53 percent) saying they feel uncomfortable around nonsmoking friends and relatives even while not smoking. Particularly notable differences can be observed between Latin American and European countries. In
“We are creating a movement to help the world unsmoke,” said
#Unsmokeyourworld is a PMI initiative to speed up a historic change in public health. Through the #unsmoke movement, we want to bring together a community of people who can accelerate this change by reinforcing the message that quitting cigarettes and nicotine altogether is the best choice any smoker can make and becoming advocates of the message that for smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, there are better alternatives to choose from.
To read the full “Unsmoke: Clearing the Way for Change” white paper, visit: www.unsmokeyourworld.com/whitepaper
This survey was carried out
#Unsmokeyourworld is a global conversation that inspires human stories—for the people, by the people. To learn more, visit UnsmokeYourWorld.com.
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