It's Time to join the conversation

17 May 2019 · 5 min read
We want a conversation with regulators and decision makers, because it's time.

It’s Time for a conversation. In many countries around the world, smokers are faced with only one choice – quitting or continuing to smoke. Quitting all together is always the best decision. But in any given year, a large population of existing adult smokers will continue smoking. What about them? Should they be left to continue smoking?

At PMI we don’t believe so. Science and technology have enabled the creation of better alternatives to continue smoking. Far from perfect. These products are not risk-free, their aerosol still contain harmful chemicals. They also contain nicotine, which is addictive. But scientific research shows they are a much better choice than continuing to smoke.

We think smokers should be permitted to learn about these smoke-free products that can help rid the world of smoke. But to be able to give smokers the information they need, we need the support of regulators, decision makers and healthcare professionals. We need to have that dialogue. Now, our new 'It's Time' campaign aims to accelerate that conversation. It's one that should be led not by emotion, but by science.

Scientific innovation has been at the forefront of what we have been doing for many years, as we transform our company away from cigarettes. In 1997, some of our company's fiercest critics challenged us to produce less-harmful products. We listened and accepted the challenge.

It's taken hundreds of scientists, thousands of tests, and billions of dollars to invent products without cigarette smoke, but we have achieved this. Why? Because despite global efforts to encourage smokers to quit, nine out of 10 adult smokers continue to smoke every year. An ideological stance against all tobacco products means their only choice is to continue to smoke cigarettes, if they do not quit.

This binary choice isn't helping the people who need help and information the most. And the only outcome of this confusion is delay and sometimes denial of consumer access to life-changing products. Don't they deserve another option?

New smoke-free products don't burn tobacco and adult smokers can switch to them completely – and not return to cigarettes.

Smoke-free products contain nicotine and are not risk free. But the science shows they produce fewer chemicals than cigarettes and consequently are a better choice than continuing to smoke. Of course, this is a matter of scientific substantiation for each particular product.

We're not asking you to trust us. We share our science and data openly with the scientific and medical communities, and governments around the world, as well as online at PMI Science. We're asking you to look for yourselves at our findings and let common sense and scientific facts – and not ideological preconceptions – inform decision-making.

Adults who would otherwise continue smoking deserve access to these alternative products. They also deserve current information in order to make their own choices.

We can all agree the world will be a better place without smoke. At PMI, we are transforming our business away from cigarettes and have staked our future on becoming a smoke-free company. The question is how quickly we can become a smoke-free world. To achieve this, it's time to join the conversation. We're here to talk. And we're ready to listen.

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