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Our Views

Regulation

A Common-Sense Approach

The well-known risks of smoking have led regulators to impose more restrictions and higher excise taxes on cigarettes than apply to any other consumer product – while allowing cigarettes to remain available to adults.
At times, PMI has opposed regulations, such as those that treat informed adult smokers as unable to make their own decisions. And we don’t agree that banning cigarettes makes sense for smokers or for society at large.
But there’s absolutely no doubt that tobacco products should be subject to strict rules and enforcement. And the record shows that we respect government’s authority – and leadership role – in protecting public health.
With comprehensive requirements in place to control nearly every aspect of the cigarette business, the question becomes: what’s the plan to address the needs of more than one billion people who still smoke?
The answer, in our view, is innovation – in products and in policies:

  • products that appeal to smokers but present less risk of harm than continued smoking
  • regulatory policies that enable those products to replace cigarettes for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke

To be clear, regulations should continue to dissuade people from starting to smoke and encourage cessation. It’s equally clear that millions of men and women will continue to smoke, and they should have the opportunity to switch to better alternatives.

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