We want to reach the moment where we stop selling cigarettes
Tobacco company and responsible entrepreneurship, many would say those two do not fit together. How do you perceive it?
In PMI, we recognize that cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products pose serious health risks. Accordingly, we understand and respect that tobacco companies have a special obligation to develop and market their products responsibly.
We’ve set ambitious sustainability targets and have made great progress in several areas ranging from managing our environmental footprint across our value chain to good agricultural practices, upholding human rights and labor rights, fighting the illicit cigarette trade, our progress as a top employer and supporting local communities.
What efforts have been made to mitigate the negative impact of your product?
There is no doubt that the greatest contribution that PMI can make to society is to address the impact of smoking on health. Cigarettes are a dangerous product and the best way to avoid the harms of smoking is never to start, or to quit. But much more can be done to reduce the health risks for the world’s 1.1 billion smokers. While nicotine is addictive, it is the smoke generated by burning tobacco that is the principal problem. Through groundbreaking research (with our investment of more than USD 3 billion so far), we developed a range of smoke-free products that are enjoyable for smokers and have the potential to significantly reduce health risks when compared to smoking.
That means that you will stop selling cigarettes?
We’re now putting our core product at the center of our sustainability efforts by doing something dramatic – our ambition is to one day replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives.
Today’s advances in science and technology finally make it possible to develop innovative products that have the potential to reduce the risks associated with continued smoking and that consumers are willing to adopt and switch to. These advances are transforming our industry – and for commercial, ethical, and public health reasons, PMI is transforming itself.
What does it mean for your consumers?
Today, our smoke-free product IQOS is available in more than 25 countries and already, over three million people have stopped smoking cigarettes and switched completely to IQOS, with 8,000 more switching every day.
Our objectives is to reach the moment where we stop selling cigarettes. Our minimum ambition is that by 2025, at least 30 % of our volume comes from smoke-free products.
CEE CSR SUMMIT 2017, the biggest conference about corporate responsibility in Central and East Europe, is will be held in Old Market Hall, Bratislava on 14th of November. Register today: www.cee-csr-summit.eu.