Inaction has consequences
Jacek Olczak, CEO, of Philip Morris International speaks in a room.
Our mission is clear: to reduce smoking by replacing cigarettes with less harmful alternatives.
Cigarettes belong in museums.
Since 2016, my company has fully committed to moving away from cigarettes, the most harmful form of nicotine consumption. We have invested more than 10.5 billion U.S. dollars in developing and commercializing smoke-free products—which today account for nearly 35 percent of our total net revenues.
Frustratingly, our ability to make further progress is being blocked by those who are blindly guided by a desire to see an end to the industry rather than an end to cigarettes and this is very frustrating.
This, together with an overreliance on the so-called precautionary principle—which some interpret as “better not to do anything until we know everything”—results in government inaction and more of the same.
Today’s environment and rhetoric make it easier for governments and regulators to do nothing on smoke-free alternatives. It’s perceived as safer for political careers to abstain from the debate completely rather than be seen as siding with us.
But, in the end, this is just prolonging the life of cigarettes and risks shortening the lives of those who use them.
For smokers today, inaction is not a neutral position. It is a choice with real-world outcomes.
We are entering what Churchill called “a period of consequences.”
It is no longer a case of if these smoke-free alternatives are better than cigarette smoking;
it is a case of by how much they are better.
Watch the full speech on our YouTube channel.
Rethink Disruption: The impact of inaction
Philip Morris International logo is seen on screen.