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.”
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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.”
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 :