Misinformation, lack of access and confusion hamper the ability of smokers who don’t quit to consider better alternatives, a new international study from PMI shows.

Philip Morris International today released a white paper titled “Unsmoke: Clearing the Way for Change”, based on findings from a major international study conducted for the company by independent research firm Povaddo. Download a copy of the media release.

The best choice is to quit

There is no question that while the best choice is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether, the reality is, many people don’t. The survey – conducted in 13 countries among adults aged 21 to 74 – forms the basis of the paper’s exploration around two core themes. The impact of smoking on personal relationships and the lack of information available about smoke-free products. It reveals some of the barriers that might be preventing smokers from considering smoke-free alternatives over continued smoking.

Smoke-free products, such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products, do not burn nor produce smoke, thus have the potential to emit significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals.

Aussies denied the right

Unfortunately, Australians are not given this option. Australia is the only OECD country, other than Turkey, that effectively prohibits the sale of these products. It’s time the Australian government legalised smoke-free products to give adult smokers a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

In Australia, some key insights from the paper include:

  • 83% of Australians agree that more taxation and regulation alone will not succeed in making the country smoke-free.
  • 82% of Australians agree that a better conversation with smokers is needed to make cigarettes a thing of the past.
  • 87% of Australians agree that smokers should have access to and accurate information about smoke-free alternatives.
  • 70% of Australians support tobacco companies working with governments to improve access to and information about smoke-free products.
  • 43% of Australians said they had the information needed to make an informed choice about smoke-free products

Despite Australia having some of the world’s strictest tobacco control measures, the smoking rate has remained relatively similar since 2014.¹

A better conversation between governments & smokers

An overwhelming majority of Australian respondents agreed that it was important for the government to dedicate time and resources to reducing smoking rates and that a better conversation with smokers was needed.

“There is currently a tremendous amount of misinformation circulating about smoke-free products, and this is causing confusion. It is one of the biggest hurdles the world faces in becoming smoke-free,” said Jacek Olczak, Chief Operating Officer at Philip Morris International.

“The reality is, there are better options available to adult smokers who don’t quit. There urgently needs to be a new global conversation – based on scientific research and facts – about these alternatives.”

Download full media release here.

¹https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs-australia/contents/drug-types/tobacco – FIGURE TOBACCO 06

Download media release.

Please note that the whitepaper download has been removed until further notice… For any queries, please reach out to our media contact Luke H. – +61 0447 407 454 or email aucommunications@pmi.com.