PMI said it needs the cooperation of governments and civil society in order for alternative nicotine products to be incorporated as part of an effective tobacco policy.
“Smoking causes serious disease, and the best way to avoid the harms of smoking is never to start, or to quit. For decades, tobacco control has focused on strict fiscal, marketing and other measures to deter initiation and to encourage cessation,” said Andre Catantzopoulos.

“Nicotine, while addictive and not risk-free, is not the primary cause of smoking related diseases. The primary cause is the harmful chemicals released or generated by the burning of tobacco and contained in the smoke,” he added.

The former CEO said that a smoke-free future is attainable, and that PMI needs the cooperation of governments and civil society to reach a consensus that with proper oversight and regulation, alternative nicotine products can be part of an effective tobacco policy. “Thanks to rapid advances in science and technology, and strong PMI commitment, these products are now a reality,” he said.

PMI plans to reach its target 50% sales from smoke-free products by 2025

Meanwhile, in a recent interview during the Reuters Next conference, PMI’s current CEO Jacek Olczak said that the tobacco company will reach its target of 50% sales from smoke-free products by 2025.

Last May, Olczak was elected president of the company, taking over from Calantzopoulos, who held the position since 2013. In carrying forward his predecessor’s legacy Olczak said that in some countries a smoke-free future may be expected in less than a generation.

He said that the company is perfectly equipped to replace cigarettes with safer alternatives. “We have a globally leading portfolio of both traditional and smoke-free tobacco products, an outstanding management team and are an agile, efficient and fast-learning organisation. We are perfectly equipped to continue to be successful in our vision to replace cigarettes with better alternatives, to the benefit of consumers, shareholders and society at large,” he said as quoted by The Edge earlier this year.

Philip Morris (PM.N) has spent over $8 billion on reduced risk products since it began developing them a decade ago, and approximately 30% of its revenue now comes from such products. To this effect said Olczak recently, the company plans to reach their target of having 50% of their sales from smoke-free products by 2025 through organic revenue growth, rather than mergers and acquisitions.

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