A new international survey commissioned by Philip Morris International (PMI) and conducted by independent research firm Povaddo reveals a public appetite for a better approach to reducing the societal harm caused by cigarettes. Seven in 10 respondents (71 percent) believe that encouraging those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to smoke-free alternatives instead can complement other efforts to reduce harm.
Conducted in December 2020 among 22,500-plus adults in 20 countries and territories, the survey explores attitudes regarding the role of smoke-free alternatives in improving public health. The results reveal broad support for novel approaches to accelerating the decline of cigarette smoking. Specifically, the survey found that: 73 percent of adults agree that governments should consider the role alternative products can play in making their country smoke-free; 77 percent agree that adult smokers should have access to and accurate information about smoke-free alternatives that have been scientifically substantiated to be a better choice than continued smoking; and 67 percent of respondents say that if it is possible to end cigarette sales in their country within 10 to 15 years (through smokers quitting tobacco or switching to better, science-based alternatives), their government should dedicate time and resources to making that a reality.
Three in four respondents (76 percent) believe it is important for governments to dedicate time and resources to reducing smoking rates. However, a majority (58 percent) believe that more regulation and taxation of cigarettes will not be enough to achieve a smoke-free future.
“Smoke-free products have already started to play an important role in lowering smoking rates,” said Jacek Olczak, chief operating officer at PMI, in a statement. “With the right regulatory encouragement, support from civil society and the full embrace of science, I believe it is possible for the public’s call to be answered and for cigarette sales to be a thing of the past in many countries within a decade to a decade and a half.”
Most adults surveyed want to see a shift in the societal approach to tobacco harm reduction, including more collaboration between governments and tobacco companies. Moreover, nearly seven in 10 respondents (68 percent) support tobacco companies working with governments, regulators and public health experts to ensure smokers have access to and accurate information about the better, smoke-free alternatives science has made available. Further, eight in 10 respondents believe both governments (88 percent) and businesses (81 percent) have a responsibility to embrace the latest scientific and technological developments.