We don’t usually comment on PR campaigns by anti-tobacco organizations: We’re trying to stop people smoking, while they’re trying to stop us.
But some of these organizations are spreading falsehoods in an effort to scare others, including those who—like us—are attending the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival with open minds and a focus on the future.
In 2016, we pledged to make the world smoke-free and PMI is at Cannes to help change the lives of one billion people who smoke. We want to inspire the best creative brains on the most robust platforms to join us on this mission. We can’t do this alone.
Unfortunately, some organizations don’t want to talk about better solutions for smokers. This leaves smokers with only one choice: quit entirely or continue smoking cigarettes. In creating this latest propaganda campaign against so-called “Big Tobacco”, these organizations are creating a fog of misinformation and confusion.
Smokers deserve accurate information about all of the options available to them, which include alternatives that present less risk of harm. They deserve reasoned debate, not dogma.
It’s time to clear up the facts:
The question of why these organizations or their leaders do this—rather than engaging in the search for solutions for smokers—remains unanswered. Is their core business objective to attack Philip Morris International? We have to ask: what’s more important, hating us or helping smokers? Is this kind of behavior tolerated for other industries or companies who are trying to change?
It’s time to end this noise. We will not accept the hyperbole, inaccuracies and ill-informed diatribes about our company. It’s time for an adult conversation.