Age Matters: PMI Calls all Tobacco and E-Cigarette Companies to do their part to guard against Youth Nicotine Use
The CEO of Phillip Morris International (PMI), a leading tobacco company, André Calantzopoulos has said that youths should not use any tobacco or nicotine containing product. He made this know in a press release on Wednesday April 24, 2019.
According to him, “Given the rapid pace of innovation in the tobacco products space, we are emphatic that youth should not use any tobacco- or nicotine-containing product. Nicotine is addictive. It is not risk-free, and it poses particular risks for adolescents. We know that great care must be taken to achieve our smoke-free goal. Youth should not become nicotine users. Former smokers and never smokers should not return to, or pick up, the tobacco or nicotine habit. The entire effort must be on providing better choices to the men and women who smoke today,”
He went on further to state that their good conversion practices serves as the company’s bedrock for encouraging adult smokers to switch while working to prevent unintended use in the countries where we sell innovative products that do not burn tobacco. Adding that, they refuse to offer these products to people who have never smoked or those who have quit smoking in their IQOS Stores.
The COO of PMI Jacek Olczak, in a statement mentioned that increasing the legal age of purchase for tobacco and nicotine products can play an important role in further guarding against youth use of such products, together with access control and education that has to expand from cigarette smoking prevention to the use of any nicotine product.
However, that effort must first begin with companies themselves. Tobacco and e-cigarette manufacturers must have the right approach, the right product and the right science as well as robust post-market surveillance programs to ensure new tobacco and nicotine technologies reach their intended audience—men and women who currently smoke.
In the U.S., PMI affirms, the best way tobacco and e-cigarette companies can address the most serious issues, such as underage use, is by availing themselves of the opportunity presented by review and authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“There is a balance that must be struck. Youth should not use nicotine products. That is beyond dispute. At the same time, public policy needs to recognize the role that new smoke-free tobacco and other nicotine-containing products can play in helping move adult smokers away from cigarettes. Achieving this balance is absolutely necessary to realizing a true public health breakthrough, and requires close coordination with the regulatory agencies pre and most importantly post-market,” Mr. Calantzopoulos added.
To date, PMI has invested over USD$6 billion in the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of smoke-free products and dedicated 400+ scientists and engineers to research and development. Recently, PMI launched its “Unsmoke your World” initiative designed to deliver a clear and simple message to adults who currently smoke and those who do not: If you don’t smoke, don’t start; if you smoke, quit; if you don’t quit, change.