Eight out of ten people support PMI’s efforts to work with governments, regulators and public health experts to phase out cigarettes in favor of smoke-free alternatives.
These are the findings of a recent study by respected global research company Povaddo on behalf of PMI. It also found that 73 percent believe it is a good thing for PMI to transform its business model away from cigarettes and to ultimately only sell alternatives like e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products. The Povaddo findings were drawn from a total of 4,545 online interviews among a wide range of adults across 20 countries worldwide.
The study comes as PMI launches ‘The Year of Unsmoke’, a campaign uniting smokers, nonsmokers, regulators and campaigners alike to push for a smoke-free world.
Unsmoking is happening. PMI wants to give a voice to a group of people who are keen to put aside the visions of the past and unite to push for an unsmoked world. The aim is to encourage the world’s smokers to ‘unsmoke’ their lives by quitting cigarettes and nicotine altogether – which is the best choice, or by switching from cigarettes to a better alternative.
Despite global efforts to reduce smoking, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that approximately the same number of people – more than a billion – will smoke in 2025 as today.
“It should be crystal clear: if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t quit, change. That’s unsmoking,” says Jacek Olczak, PMI’s chief operating officer.
He said the aim of the campaign is to move beyond the ‘ideological fight’ that seeks to label all tobacco and nicotine-containing products as the same. “The consequences of this confusion are that people continue to smoke cigarettes.”
He adds: “It is common sense to move away from ideology and take concrete steps forward together toward a common goal: remove smoke from our world and encourage 1.1 billion men and women to switch to better alternatives if they do not quit.”
He says smoke-free alternatives that do not burn tobacco have the potential to offer ‘a much better choice than cigarettes’. “It is a fact that burning generates the vast majority of harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. Eliminating the combustion dramatically reduces the levels of harmful chemicals.”
‘The Year of Unsmoke’ will see various efforts to encourage a global conversation around the importance of going smoke-free among smokers, nonsmokers, engaged citizens, policymakers and regulators. The core message for the campaign is:
“To enable people to make an informed choice about the better alternatives that are available to them is the right thing to do, and policymakers have a crucial role in making that happen. We are asking for a unified global conversation to drive real change,” adds Olczak.
To date, PMI has invested USD$6 billion in the research and development of smoke-free products and dedicated 400 scientists and engineers to the cause.