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We’re delivering better choices.
By André Calantzopoulos, CEO, Philip Morris International
Campaigners called for us to develop better alternatives to continued smoking — and we have.
Build better, do better, be better. As individuals or as a society, the path to progress is paved with continuous improvement. It’s the foundation upon which public health in particular is built, from better understanding to better science to better outcomes.
Globally, reducing the harm associated with smoking is one of the most pressing challenges for governments and the public health community. The health risks are well known, but less well known is the fact that better alternatives, backed by science, are real, and they have the potential to deliver a huge public health opportunity.
Many voices have long called on tobacco companies, including mine, to develop better. I’m proud to say that we have done just that. For over a decade, Philip Morris International has been developing smoke-free alternatives that are a better choice than continued smoking, and they now make up almost a quarter of our net revenue.
Put simply: Better alternatives are at the heart of our commitment to a smoke-free future, and our goal is they will replace cigarettes for good.
Informed choice is critical. If adults who smoke are unable to get accurate information about or access to these products, their promise will not be realized. Yet inexplicably, many still ideologically oppose the idea that adult smokers should have access to better alternatives. Their dogma dictates that smoke-free should stay in the shadows.
It is clear that the best choice for anyone is to quit altogether — or never start — using tobacco and nicotine products. We cannot ignore, however, that despite the ongoing efforts to discourage cigarette use, there are more than a billion smokers globally.
Encouragingly, U.S. law recognizes that tobacco products exist on a continuum of risk, and that adult smokers who don’t quit should be incentivized to completely switch from cigarettes — the most harmful form of tobacco use — to better alternatives. Moreover, our research shows that 84% of adults want their regulators to take the latest science into account when deciding policy.
Such policies have the potential to promote better choices and dramatically accelerate the reduction of cigarette use. Surely this is a goal we should all share.
To those committed to misleading adult smokers about smoke-free products, I ask: Who will take responsibility for denying adults their right to accurate information about, and access to, scientifically substantiated better alternatives to cigarettes? Who benefits when those men and women who might otherwise be persuaded to switch to better alternatives continue to smoke instead?
We were challenged to create better alternatives to cigarettes. We have delivered. Our mission now is to embrace this opportunity to deliver a smoke-free future.
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