Even with increased prevention and cessation efforts, nearly 30 million Americans still smoke. This number isn’t likely to decrease unless something changes.

PMI is committed to being a part of that change and to providing science-based, smoke-free products for adults who otherwise would continue smoking. These better alternatives, aligned with our core policy pillars, can help us achieve a smoke-free future.

Keagan Lenihan

It is time to focus on adult smokers who continue smoking. Adult smokers deserve a range of FDA-authorized smoke-free products that are acceptable, available, and affordable. We need a regulated market of authorized smoke-free products, accurate information for adult smokers, and continued focus on under-21 access prevention.

Keagan Lenihan, Vice President & Chief External Affairs Officer, U.S.

Four pillars guide our U.S. policy engagement as we work toward a smoke-free future

Regulated market of authorized smoke-free products

Policymakers and the FDA need to find the balance between regulation and encouraging innovative nicotine products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes.

Combustible cigarettes continue to dominate the U.S. market. Adult smokers need more education about the continuum of risk. As a complementary strategy to prevention and cessation efforts, policymakers and the FDA must prioritize making more smoke-free products available for adult smokers than combustible cigarettes.

To significantly reduce smoking and the number of adult smokers, there must be a range of FDA-authorized smoke-free products to meet a variety of smokers’ preferences.

Underage access prevention

We have a responsibility to do our part in preventing underage access to our products. We take this commitment seriously through a best-in-class underage prevention program.

At PMI U.S., we supported Congress raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

Regulators, policymakers, and manufacturers must collaborate to prevent underage access through enhanced age verification, product innovation, retailer compliance, and responsible marketing practices.

Harm reduction—better choices for adult smokers

Public health authorities agree that tobacco products fall on a “continuum of risk,” with combustible cigarettes representing the most harmful and widely used products.

Offering smoke-free products—which provide nicotine without smoke, ash, or burning—is essential to harm reduction as these alternatives can move adult smokers completely away from combustible cigarettes.

Adult smokers who continue smoking should have access to opportunities to move down the continuum of risk.

To provide adult smokers with access to smoke-free products, we must raise awareness of the risk continuum, correct misinformation, and make smoke-free products acceptable, available, and affordable so adult smokers are more likely to make a change.

Risk-based taxation

Public health and commerce have worked together to add taxes to products that increase risk. Creating a risk-based taxation structure is a clear way to advance public health.

Tax policies should reflect the continuum of risk and tax FDA-authorized smoke-free products at lower rates than cigarettes.

  • Tax increases can be an effective public health strategy to decrease cigarette use. But taxing all tobacco products at the same rate may disincentivize adult smokers from switching to a better alternative.
  • Lower, specific taxes should apply to FDA-authorized products based on the risk continuum.
  • Tax increases on smoke-free products should be reasonable and incremental to encourage adult smokers to completely switch from combustible tobacco products.