Philip Morris Singapore Pte Ltd, an affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI) has just announced that approximately three million smokers have already switched to IQOS, its first heated tobacco product to be successfully commercialized, making a new step forward in the company’s ambition that all smokers switch to scientifically substantiated smoke-free products as soon as possible.
The company noted that over 232,000 smokers converted to IQOS globally in July 2017 alone, which is more than 8,000 people per day. The number of smokers who switched to IQOS to date is equivalent to about five times the number of people who smoke in Singapore. This proves that a smoke-free future is a concrete possibility.
“Our ambition is that all the people who would otherwise continue smoking switch to scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives as soon as possible. But we cannot achieve this mammoth task alone” said Lawrence Chew, General Manager of Philip Morris Singapore Pte Ltd. “All stakeholders of the industry have a role to play. We are encouraged by the growing number of experts and governments that are taking steps to support the role that science and innovation can have for public health, and hope Singapore will too.”
Recently the UK, the US and New Zealand joined a growing number of countries who recognized the need to review the evidence of the potential benefits of smoke-free products for public health, and announced steps to leverage their potential in their plans for a future without smoke.
The US Food and Drug Administration is the first country to have implemented a process of review of tobacco products sold with claims of modified-risk (Modified Risk Tobacco Products), and recently announced plans to implement a comprehensive approach to tobacco including encouraging smokers to switch to better alternatives.
Similarly, the recently announced UK Tobacco Control Plan recognises the vital role that e-cigarettes and other alternatives to cigarettes, including heated tobacco products, can play for a smoke-free future. The document stresses the need to critically evaluate the evidence on these products and provide clear communication to smokers about the risks and benefits of them.
The New Zealand Government also recently announced it would legalise e-cigarettes and create a regulatory framework for smokeless tobacco and other nicotine products such as heated tobacco products as part of its Smoke-Free 2025 ambition.
Since 2008, PMI has hired more than 400 scientists and experts, and invested over USD 3 billion in research, product development and scientific substantiation for a range of smoke-free products, including IQOS.
The company openly shares its scientific methodologies and findings for independent third-party review and verification, and has published its research in over 200 articles and book chapters since 2011.
Results of scientific research conducted by PMI to date indicate that IQOS is likely to reduce the risk of harm compared to cigarette smoking, and is a better choice for those who would otherwise continue to smoke.
IQOS is currently commercialized in 28 markets, with plans to commercialize it in 30 to 35 markets before year end.