Philip Morris announces commitment to smoke-free vision for Australia at federal inquiry

11-Oct-2017 4:06 PM


5 October 2017

Philip Morris today announced that it is committed to pursuing a smoke-free future for Australia in which potentially reduced risk alternatives to smoking ultimately replace cigarettes.

Appearing today before the Federal Parliament’s inquiry on electronic cigarettes, the company explained how it’s rapidly transforming its business away from cigarettes in favour of smoke-free alternatives.
“Every level of our company, from our CEO down, is committed to transitioning away from cigarettes as soon as possible and it’s a process we’ve already started in almost 30 countries,” said Philip Morris Scientific Affairs Fellow Maurice Smith.
In evidence given to the Committee, Mr Smith said that more than three million smokers worldwide – and more than 8,000 smokers per day – had switched to Philip Morris’s IQOS, which heats tobacco rather than burning it. That widespread and rapid consumer acceptance has made it possible to envision a world in which cigarette smoking becomes obsolete.
“Since its nationwide launch in Japan in 2015, IQOS has captured 10 per cent of the market. That’s more than two million people who are no longer smoking cigarettes. Projecting these numbers forward, we could reach a tipping point in Japan within five years where we can start discussions with the government about phasing out combustible cigarettes entirely. We hope that the same smoke-free future can be brought to Australia”.
Unlike cigarettes, Philip Morris’ smoke-free products do not burn or combust tobacco. Burning generates the vast majority of toxicants found in smoke that are associated with smoking-related diseases. Products that do not burn tobacco have significant potential to represent a less harmful alternative for smokers who switch completely.
“Ironically, although many share our vision of smoke-free Australia, the law in Australia, unique in the world, requires that all tobacco products must be smoked. Today’s hearings may be a step toward reversing that, allowing smokers to have access to better alternatives.”
“We’re committed to transforming our business, and we’re committed to transforming our business in Australia, but the current regulatory impediments prevent us from transitioning our business away from combustible cigarettes”.


***Maurice Smith is a toxicologist with a PhD in medicinal chemistry and his background is research into the compounds caused by smoke. Before joining Philip Morris he worked for the UK Department of Health, Cancer Research UK and Unilever.***

Media Contact: William Churchill – 0407 434 772. 

Philip Morris’ action on its smoke-free vision and transformation:
  • January 2017 -Formally announced its smoke-free vision and commitment to transforming its business away from combustible cigarettes as soon as possible.
    • Aim to release KPIs specific to this transformation later this year.
  • Launched IQOS in almost 30 countries - Not just a product for the developed world.
    • IQOS being sold in UK, Canada, Japan, Korea, Germany and Switzerland.
    • Also being sold in Colombia, South Africa, Serbia and Kazakhstan.
  • 1.5 billion Euro investment in manufacturing capacity to meet switching demand for IQOS.This includes
    • 2 cigarette factories being converted.
    • 1 entirely new factory being built.
    • Existing factory capacity being dramatically increased.
  • September 2017 - Announced the ‘Foundation for a smoke-free world’
    • $80 million USD each year until 2030 to encourage innovative measures to reduce the harm caused by smoking.
    • Independently administered and governed.
    • Headed by former World Health Organization Cabinet Director Dr. Derek Yach
      • Yach was instrumental in the development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global treaty ratified by almost 180 countries
  • Since launching IQOS in 2015, there are now over 3 million converted smokers worldwide now using IQOS, more than the approximately 2.4 million Australians who smoke daily.

Topic: Health

Media contact

William Churchill

Tel: 0407 434 772

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