"The Cube", is Philip Morris International Research & Development centre in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

This is probably the boldest statement of the several released recently by PMI, who are clearly trying to convince that they are serious about combatting smoking. Last year PMI made headlines when Andre Calantzopoulos, the company’s CEO said that he would like “to work with governments towards the “phase-out” of conventional cigarettes”. Additionally Peter Nixon, the Managing Director for UK and Ireland had said, “We want to move towards a smoke-free future and a lot of that is incentivising people to move across from cigarettes to something that is less harmful.”

“We want to move towards a smoke-free future and a lot of that is incentivising people to move across from cigarettes to something that is less harmful.” Peter Nixon, Managing Director, Philip Morris UK and Ireland

This anti-smoking program, called the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, is set to be launched in 2018. It’s aim is said to be funding research, analysing the impact of smoke-free alternatives, keeping track of progress towards eliminating smoking and also finding ways to help tobacco farmers deal with the reduced need of their crops.

Should we trust Big Tobacco?

Naturally, many are sceptical that the aim of such motions is ensuring the visibility and success of Philip Morris’ harm reduction product, iQOS. “The tobacco industry has a terrible track record of funding research designed to support its efforts to block policies to cut smoking,” said chief executive of London-based Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Deborah Arnott. “Tobacco industry claims can never be accepted at face value.”

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, aims to fund research, analysing the impact of smoke-free alternatives, and keep track of progress towards eliminating smoking.
The iQOS device, is a smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes and works by heating tobacco leaves known as Heets or HeatSticks. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the device and are heated it up once iQOS is turned on and are sold under the Marlboro brand for approximately the same price as their combustible counterparts.

However the big tobacco company persists in pointing out that it really wants to stop selling cigarettes and turn their business into a sustainable one. ‘We are absolutely serious – one day we want to stop selling cigarettes,’ said Peter Nixon earlier this year.

Foundation leader believes in dialogue amongst all involved parties

The foundation will be led by Derek Yach, a former World Health Organization (WHO) official who was directly involved in the global tobacco treaty. Yach will speaking at a nicotine conference set to take place next Wednesday in which the foundation will be presented. During the same conference, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Mitch Zeller, is set to speak about the agency’s new approach towards harm reduction.

Below you can view a brief statement by Yach in English, during an interview in Vaping Post’s documentary movie Beyond The Cloud, pertaining to how he approaches the trust issue towards big tobacco companies : 

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5 years ago

I’m thrilled to see a tobacco company take this stand. They know their customers well enough. They must believe they can protect their shareholders investment in a world with no combustible tobacco products so long as they can sell reduced risk products. I’m fine with that so long as the competing products I might prefer remain available. Most of the push back is from tax supported institutions whose funding will be reduced when smoking goes away. If those people would acknowledge their conflict of interest and shut up the conversation about ecigs would be far far different.

There needs to be a macro economic study of what would happen if $1 trillion in annual world wide revenues from conbustible tobacco sales disappeared. THEN we might understand what all the fuss is about.

5 years ago

The tobacco companies have been selling out smokers for six decades, and Philip Morris has been their ringleader. They let the anti-smokers get away with scientific fraud by falsely blaming smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection. This has been obvious to anyone who actually researches the subject, rather than just swallowing media disinformation, and rationalizing that big corporations would never sell out their customers and shareholders.

Byron Cooper
Byron Cooper
Reply to  CarolAST
5 years ago

Emphysema — hereditary
Asthma — dust mites
Cancer — HPV
What does smoking prevent?
— Crohn’s disease
— irritable bowel disease
— asthma
— peanut allergy
— hair dye shock
— lung disease (astonishingly)