Collective efforts to accelerate the journey to a smoke-free future in focus at Technovation 7

Collective efforts to accelerate the journey to a smoke-free future in focus at Technovation 7

Media representatives & other stakeholders from nearly 30 countries engaged in discussions about the role that industry, civil society, governments, and the public health community play in achieving a smoke-free future at a faster pace NEW DELHI, Nov. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) recently hosted its seventh Technovation at the Cube, the company's R&D center in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The event provides media & other stakeholders the opportunity to interact with senior leaders, scientists, and R&D experts from PMI.

During the event, the conversations focused on the crucial roles that innovation, technology, and science can play in enabling a better future for everyone - highlighting the call to harness the full potential of innovation and evidence-based policies that are needed to steer the collective efforts toward eliminating smoking.

Speaking at the event, PMI CEO Jacek Olczak, reiterated, 'It is no longer a case of if smoke-free alternatives are better than cigarette smoking; it is a case of by how much. Based on WHO and other third-party data, our hypothetical model shows that if smoke-free products are assumed to be 80% less risky than cigarettes—and if people who currently smoke were to switch to them completely—then over their lifetime, there's a potential for a tenfold reduction in smoking-attributable deaths compared with historical tobacco control measures alone. While this type of hypothetical estimate has limitations, it begins to show the cost of inaction. It's time to work toward a common goal of delivering effective policies that make cigarettes a historical artifact—a museum piece collecting dust behind glass cases.' Reinforcing these sentiments, Grégoire Verdeaux, PMI's Senior Vice President of External Affairs, led a discussion on what success looks like when regulating smoke-free alternatives. Citing Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, UK, the US, and other countries, Verdeaux made the case for inclusive and innovative frameworks that have complemented traditional tobacco control measures in expediting the decline of smoking.

'The number of smokers globally has remained virtually unchanged for the past 30 years,' said Verdeaux, who drew attention to the upcoming session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in Panama, as a crucial juncture to change the global smoking rates status quo.

'The COP10 could be used an as opportunity to bring all stakeholders together, consider the comprehensive science on nicotine alternatives & create guidelines that can help reduce harm for hundreds of millions of smokers around the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case, but we hope that this will change in future for the benefit of a billion smokers and global public health,' said Verdeaux.

Tommaso Di Giovanni, PMI's Vice President of International Communications & Engagement, discussed what more can be done to encourage innovation in the tobacco industry. He said, 'Better alternatives to cigarettes exist, and scientific data support their potential to be less harmful. The missing piece of the puzzle is the collective effort of governments, the public health community, our industry, and civil society to make these alternatives accessible to adult smokers who do not quit. To support this transformation, we envision to become a majority smoke-free led entity, with smoke free options now accounting for over 36% of total net revenues, following third-quarter financial results.' Gizelle Baker, Vice President of Global Scientific Engagement, demonstrated the rigor and transparency that govern PMI's science-driven approach. In her address she said, 'Science around smoke-free products is no longer a debate. Extensive and rigorous studies have demonstrated that, compared with smoking, switching to our smoke-free products results in a significant reduction in the risk of smoking-related disease.' It's time to prioritize science and innovation and embrace tobacco harm reduction by providing smokers that don't quit the access they need to better alternatives. The path to a smoke-free future can help save billions over many years from harm induced by traditional tobacco.

About Philip Morris International Philip Morris International (PMI) is a leading international tobacco company working to deliver a smoke-free future and evolving its portfolio for the long term to include products outside tobacco and nicotine sector.

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