Achieving a smoke-free future together

27 Feb 2023 · 4 min read
PMI is calling for open, honest dialogue about the regulation of smoke-free tobacco products.
Jacek Olczak CEO of Philip Morris International
Society is facing an array of global challenges. Every day we’re confronted by dire predictions and alarming figures. But there is one figure that we as a company can have a big impact on: 

One billion.

That’s the approximate number of smokers in the world today according to public health data.

And despite health warnings, campaigns to quit smoking, and increasing tobacco control measures, that number is expected to be the same in 2025, according to the World Health Organization. 1

PMI's Vision For A Smoke-free Future (Without Cigarettes)


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PMI's Vision For A Smoke-free Future (Without Cigarettes)

Jacek Olczak, CEO of Philip Morris International, speaks to camera:

This company is about the progress.

This company wants to change the world.

If we can get there, this is going to be phenomenal.

[Classical music]

Text on screen reads: We've built the world's most successful cigarette company,

but we have thoroughly transformed,

taking great strides towards realizing our vision of replacing cigarettes for good.

Stefano Volpetti, President, Smoke-Free Inhaled Products & Chief Consumer Officer for PMI, speaks to camera:

This company has had the courage,

the visionary leadership,

to establish a new direction, to disrupt the category.

Text on screen reads:

It's why we've invested more than $10.5 billion to date

and employed over 1,500 scientists, engineers and R&D experts to develop our smoke-free products.

Michael Voegele, Chief Digital and Information Officer for PMI, speaks to camera:

I think it’s a unique challenge, being part of a team that revolutionizes the industry.

Text on screen reads:

It's our ambition that within the next two years, more than 50 percent of our net revenue will come from smoke-free products.

Jacek Olczak continues speaking:

The big aspirations address the problem of smoking,

going smoke-free,

over 50 percent of revenues coming from this product.

This is very ambitious and that calls for a progress.

Marian Salzman, Senior Vice President, Global Communications for Philip Morris International, speaks to camera:

We’ve said yes to people when they want to ask us questions.

We’ve told them the truth when they’ve posed the questions.

Text on screen reads:

With the right regulatory encouragement and support from civil society

we believe many countries can end cigarette sales within 10 to 15 years.

Jacek Olczak continues speaking:

If you compare it to many other industries

which also were going for some transformation driven by the product,

nobody is coming that close, as we are.

Text on screen reads:

Innovation, science and technology drive our transformation,

helping us deliver a better, smoke-free future.

Philip Morris International logo appears.

Text on screen reads:

It's always better to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether, but those who don't, deserve access to and accurate information about better alternatives to cigarettes.

Music ends.

We are always clear: If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, the best option is always to quit cigarettes and nicotine completely.

However, we know that in any given year only around one in 10 adult smokers will successfully achieve this.

If the remaining 90 percent were given accurate information about—and access to—smoke-free alternatives, the number of smokers worldwide could be significantly reduced.

Jacek Olczak CEO PMI
We need to stop excluding men and women who smoke from the conversation. These are the people who have the most to gain from smoke-free alternatives.
Jacek Olczak, Chief Executive Officer, Philip Morris International

Our mission?

At PMI, we have made it our mission to deliver a smoke-free future and to transform for good.

There is robust science showing that our broad portfolio of smoke-free products, whilst not risk-free and addictive, represent a much better choice for adults than continued smoking. That’s because none of them involve burning, resulting in significantly reduced average levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared to a cigarette.

We strive to make the information about our smoke-free products as accessible as possible to adults, such as publishing engaging visual guides that the general public can explore to learn more about the differences between our smoke-free products and cigarettes.

The well-known risks of smoking have understandably led regulators to impose more restrictions on cigarettes than on most other consumer products. We agree that tobacco products should be subject to strict rules and regulations, and PMI respects governments’ authority and leadership role in protecting public health, supporting measures to dissuade people from smoking. 

However, international treaties intended to “limit industry influence”—are often misinterpreted and used to restrict legitimate debate. This must change. It’s time for more inclusive, pragmatic approaches. 

It makes no sense to prevent adult smokers who don’t quit from accessing these better alternatives or accurate information about them.

“Science—when vetted through peer review—is science,” says PMI’s Chief Executive Officer Jacek Olczak. “Facts are facts. We need to remove the stigma that scientific innovation funded by a tobacco company cannot possibly be reliable or in the public interest. We need to stop excluding men and women who smoke from the conversation. These are the people who have the most to gain from smoke-free alternatives. They must be allowed a voice.” 

And our ultimate goal?

We are focused on delivering a smoke-free future. To date, we have dedicated more than 1,516 scientists, engineers and support staff, and over USD 10.5 billion, in the research and development of innovative smoke-free products that adult smokers can switch to.

Our ultimate goal? To stop selling cigarettes completely.

As of March 31, 2023, around 18.5 million adults in total have switched to our leading smoke-free product and stopped smoking. 2

A smoke-free future is attainable, and the benefits this can bring to the people who would otherwise continue to smoke, and hence to global public health, are enormous.

But we cannot achieve this alone. There must be an open, meaningful dialogue about the role smoke-free products can play in the improvement of public health, and the effect current legislation in many countries has in preventing adult smokers from getting all available information. We’re calling on leaders, policy makers, scientists, health professionals, and society as a whole to join this conversation—with the goal of achieving a smoke-free future as soon as possible. 

“It is through constructive engagement,” concludes Olczak, “that we will accelerate the pace of meaningful and impactful change.” 


1 WHO Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco use 2000-2025, fourth edition, November 16, 2021.

2 The estimated number of adults who have “switched to our leading smoke-free product and stopped smoking” reflects: 

For markets where there are no heat-not-burn products other than PMI heat-not-burn products: Daily individual consumption of PMI HTUs represents the totality of their daily tobacco consumption in the past seven days. 

For markets where PMI heat-not-burn products are among other heat-not-burn products: Daily individual consumption of HTUs represents the totality of their daily tobacco consumption in the past seven days, of which at least 70 percent is PMI HTUs. 

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