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Governments Need to Keep up with Innovative Breakthroughs to Benefit Public Health, Reveals International Survey Commissioned by PMI

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A new international survey conducted for Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM) by independent research firm Povaddo shows a majority of respondents believing that policymakers are too slow in embracing technological breakthroughs and innovation, with 74 percent agreeing that governments’ failure to act in a timely fashion has negative consequences for public health. These results reinforce the call to put an end to inaction and accelerate progress on a smoke-free future.

The independently conducted survey—fielded among 30,591 general population adults aged 21 or older in 15 countries—demonstrates considerable global support for policy changes that would improve access to scientifically substantiated smoke-free products:

  • 63 percent support harm reduction as an appropriate approach to help move adult consumers who do not quit smoking away from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.
  • Over half of respondents (56 percent) believe their governments need to consider the role that smoke-free alternatives can play in eradicating cigarette use in their country.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly agree that impacted people’s voices must be heard, with 81 percent stating that governments need to consider the views of adults who smoke or use other nicotine products when deciding how to regulate different nicotine products.

“In a world that demands change, it is imperative that regulators and public health officials hear from those most impacted by a policy of inaction,” said Gregoire Verdeaux, senior vice president, external affairs at PMI. “In the case of cigarettes, those paying the highest price are adult smokers in need of better options. Their voices, needs, and aspirations must be central to the strategies and policies crafted to create a better future.”

The survey sheds light on the vital role of ensuring adults have access to accurate and scientifically substantiated information about better alternatives to continued smoking.

  • Nearly three-quarters of adult smokers say they would be more likely to consider smoke-free alternatives if their governments provided information on how these products differ from cigarettes. Too often, such information is not available to them, with 42 percent of respondents saying they do not have the right tools and information to make the best choices for their health.
  • It’s not just people who smoke who are dissatisfied with current policies: Among the general population, eight in 10 (80 percent) believe adult smokers should have access to, and accurate information about a range of smoke-free products.

The survey reveals that citizens want their governments to embrace innovation and rely on scientific facts and data to guide their decision-making. However, the majority (55 percent) expressed concern that their government is moving too slowly in embracing technological breakthroughs and innovation, and 92 percent are calling for public health policy to be regularly reexamined to ensure it keeps up with scientific and technological advances.

“Across the world, people are counting on their governments to stay on top of technological developments while ensuring innovative products are appropriately regulated,” said Verdeaux. “Too often, they are finding that government policies fail to keep pace with industry advances.”

The message of global respondents came through loud and clear: The cost of inaction–or even slow, incremental action–is too great. It is past time for policymakers to embrace harm reduction and alternative tobacco delivery technologies as a key component of global tobacco control.

For additional information and to access the full global data set, visit pmi.com.

Survey methodology

Povaddo conducted the online survey on behalf of PMI between March 30 and April 20, 2023. The survey was fielded among 30,591 general population adults aged 21 or older in 15 countries: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and United States. Approximately 2,000 interviews were collected in each country. Data have been weighted by age, gender, and nicotine product use per market to match national statistics. Results are accurate to a margin of error of +/- 1 percent.

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

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 of the tobacco and nicotine sector. The company’s current product portfolio primarily consists of cigarettes and smoke-free products. Since 2008, PMI has invested more than USD 10.5 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. This includes the building of world-class scientific assessment capabilities, notably in the areas of pre-clinical systems toxicology, clinical and behavioral research, as well as post-market studies. In November 2022, PMI acquired Swedish Match – a leader in oral nicotine delivery – creating a global smoke-free champion led by the companies’ IQOS and ZYN brands. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized versions of PMI’s IQOS Platform 1 devices and consumables and Swedish Match’s General snus as Modified Risk Tobacco Products. As of September 30, 2023, PMI's smoke-free products were available for sale in 82 markets, and PMI estimates that approximately 19.7 million adults around the world had already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. Smoke-free products accounted for approximately 36.2% of PMI’s total third-quarter 2023 net revenues. With a strong foundation and significant expertise in life sciences, PMI announced in February 2021 its ambition to expand into wellness and healthcare areas and, through its Vectura Fertin Pharma business, aims to enhance life through the delivery of seamless health experiences. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.

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Contact information

Philip Morris International
David Fraser
Philip Morris International
T. +41 (0)58 242 4500
E. david.fraser@pmi.com

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