Philip Morris Spends $9bn To Promote Smoke-Free Future

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In a statement of purpose signaling its commitment to a smoke-free future, Philip Morris International (PMI) has spent $9 billion, researching into a smoke free future and coming out with an e-cigarette that generate significantly lower level of harmful compounds than the widely known cigarettes.

PMI founded in 1847 in New York, United States is a household name and a leader in the business of cigarette manufacturing

The investment made over 8 years has seen the company transforming its operation, and, aligning with the global aim of ending smoking.

PMI is now commercializing smoke-free products, producing e-cigarettes for adults who still want to continue smoking, as it pursues a complete end of cigarettes.

“This new transformation started over 20 years ago during which we have been developing and scientifically assessing products that are better alternatives to cigarettes”, says Tommaso Di Giovanni, PMI’s Vice President, Market Activation and Support.

Of the total $9 billion, PMI spent $120 million on the construction of its Research and Development facility, the Cube which is located in Neuchatel, Switzerland exclusively for alternatives to cigarettes.

Now, the company is out with smoke-free products that include, Heat-not-burn, e-vapor, and oral nicotine.

According to Tommaso, “These products do not involve combustion of tobacco, and generate a lower level of harmful compounds compared with cigarettes”.

He continues, “Several of our smoke-free products use, but do not burn tobacco. Two other products generate nicotine vapor through different technical solutions and do not involve tobacco”.

Tommaso reeling out the progress of its rapid transformation, said 29 per cent of its total net revenue and 13 per cent of its shipment volume came from smoke-free products in 2021, up from 2.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively in 2016.

“As of March 2022, our smoke-free products are available in 71 markets of which 30 are in low and middle-income markets.

Okechukwu Aguoru, General Manager Nigeria, PMI however lamented the challenges besetting the company’s new efforts owing to disinformation about nicotine.

Disinformation about nicotine, he said, has caused disfavor to e-cigarettes and the benefits therein.

“Governments across the world are now regulating nicotine harm reduction products in a fashion that is disproportionate to the risks associated with them”.

Mojisola Akpata, PMI’s Director, E & A Nigeria, urged the Nigerian media and civil society organizations to assist in spreading accurate information about the smoke-free efforts of PMI and also the advantages of its e-cigarette as an alternative to the old cigarette.

“We have tried to approach the government, specifically the federal ministry of health to educate them about the new products as a better choice but we have not been successful owing to disinformation”.

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