Around three-quarters of nicotine consumers want policymakers to consider their views when deliberating on tobacco and nicotine regulations
The results of a new international survey released today by Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE:PM) reveal that citizens worldwide are frustrated by divisive and exclusionary approaches to policymaking. More than eight in ten adults surveyed worldwide (82 percent) believe the best solutions to critical global challenges can be found not at the extremes but in the middle ground. Conducted by independent research firm Povaddo for PMI, the survey of more than 44,000 adults in 22 countries shows strong agreement among respondents (88 percent) that when making decisions that affect the lives of a significant portion of the population, leaders must listen to and advocate for the people they represent.
The survey results show support for a balanced approach to tobacco regulation, one that brings together all voices and encourages incremental progress on harm reduction. Specifically, the survey found that:
- 77 percent agree that the too-often-ignored perspectives of those most directly impacted need to be included in regulatory discussions;
- 75 percent agree that societal expectations of total abstinence from substances such as nicotine and alcohol are not feasible, and so the government should take steps to reduce the harm of their use; and
- 72 percent agree that their governments need to consider the role alternative products can play in making their countries smoke-free.
"If we are to address the challenges we face as a society in a meaningful and expeditious way, a more balanced and inclusive approach is required," said Gregoire Verdeaux, Senior Vice President, External Affairs. "This includes policy decisions that consider first and foremost the people who are most impacted—ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are met—and then bringing all relevant parties to the table, including subject matter experts, private companies, civil society leaders, and others who can contribute to solving the issues at hand."
Despite increasingly polarized societies worldwide, the survey revealed a strong consensus that finding a middle ground on contentious issues can drive incremental policy change and enable progress:
- 90 percent of respondents believe that to solve the most pressing societal challenges, leaders need to consider all perspectives—even those that run counter to their own.
- 88 percent said they would be more likely to vote for leaders who listen to all sides of an issue and adopt sensible approaches that better the lives of ordinary people.
- Currently, less than a third of adults surveyed (31 percent) believe their views are reflected in the way their governments are addressing critical issues.
Additionally, the survey found that citizens are tired of waiting for change and are willing to compromise to make things happen:
- 76 percent believe leaders should pursue policy changes that allow for incremental progress on societal issues rather than hold out for sweeping changes that are harder to implement.
Finally, people want companies and business leaders to help drive change:
- 85 percent of respondents believe that citizens and companies working together will have a more meaningful impact.
- 77 percent welcome corporate involvement in addressing major issues.
Gregoire Verdeaux said: "In countries across the world, citizens are tired of policymaking logjams and eager for constructive change. In the area of tobacco harm reduction, PMI has long advocated for a sensible approach that prioritizes the interests of current adult smokers and public health. By having balanced and inclusive discussions about the science behind better alternatives and adopting a more people-centric approach, we can accelerate the end of cigarettes. More than a billion people continue to smoke. We must—and can—do better, and that starts with open, fact-based dialogue."
For additional information and to access the full global data set, visit www.pmi.com/hearallvoices.
Povaddo conducted the online survey on behalf of PMI between February 5 and 23, 2022. The survey was fielded among 44,000+ general population adults aged 21 and older in 22 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Around 2,000 interviews were conducted in each country (approximately equally split between adults who do and do not use nicotine-containing products). The data are weighted to be representative of the online population in each country on the following variables: age, gender, region, and nicotine use. The results are accurate to a margin of error of ±1 percent.
Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris International (PMI) is a leading international tobacco company working to deliver a smoke-free future and evolving its portfolio for the long term to include products outside of the tobacco and nicotine sector. The company's current product portfolio primarily consists of cigarettes and smoke-free products, including heat-not-burn, vapor, and oral nicotine products, which are sold in markets outside the U.S. Since 2008, PMI has invested more than USD 9 billion to develop, scientifically substantiate, and commercialize innovative smoke-free products for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, with the goal of completely ending the sale of cigarettes. This includes the building of world-class scientific assessment capabilities, notably in the areas of preclinical systems toxicology, clinical and behavioral research, as well as post-market studies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the marketing of versions of PMI's IQOS Platform 1 devices and consumables as modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs), finding that exposure modification orders for these products are appropriate to promote the public health. As of March 31, 2022, PMI's smoke-free products are available for sale in 71 markets, and PMI estimates that approximately 12.7 million adults around the world, excluding Russia and Ukraine, have already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. With a strong foundation and significant expertise in life sciences, in February 2021 PMI announced its ambition to expand into wellness and healthcare areas and deliver innovative products and solutions that aim to address unmet consumer and patient needs. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.