The world’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris, is encouraging people to stop smoking cigarettes and instead look for new, less harmful alternatives.
By using the latest technology, we will be able to offer adults who want cigarettes a full-fledged route to nicotine in the form of scientifically based, less harmful alternatives, with significant risks for their health and for those around them, explains the company’s general editor for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, Andrea Gontkoviov. where, after almost one hundred and eighty years of cigarette manufacturing history, does Philip Morris move to today?
A bit of healthy skepticism. Wouldn’t it be nice if people were pushed to smoke full?
That would be it. The best decision is not to smoke at all, not to start or grow with smoke. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and even when the world population has decreased slightly, their number has increased due to the increase in the total population of the planet, according to the latest estimates, there are approximately 1.3 billion of them. Therefore, the question is not whether adults will or will not use nicotine, which is in its own way connected with the history of mankind, but in what form. Absolute doom or draconian curse don’t work. or if we want to get rid of cigarette smoke, you have to find one that is realistic.
We know that the key to maintaining a healthy nicotine consumer is to offer them better and less harmful alternatives, not just cigarettes. In the past ten years or so, we have invested all our energy in the development of various types of reasonless alternatives, which, as we now reliably know, work. We have products in our portfolio that include tobacco, liquid (so-called electronic cigarettes), but also nicotine and tobacco smoke. Globally, 27 million adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes used tobacco products, including 640,000 IQOS users last year.
Are angry tablets and electronic cigarettes for chicks so much better than cigarettes?
If I were to simplify it, I think it is clear even from a layman’s point of view. Where there is no cough, there is no tar, which cannot be stored in the lungs. And this is one of the main diseases associated with smoking. We are trying to make even the professional debate on the issues of the sleep risk posed by groundless products to be factual, devoid of ideology, and based on scientific evidence. And just so that as soon as possible both the reader and the user have access to reliable information. It is they, after all, who must be given the opportunity to understand the meaning of the change, for which they owe it and for which they should find their motivation.
We know that nicotine is a minor addiction, it is not without risks and some groups of adults should not use it. But it is not carcinogenic and does not cause cancer. As I mentioned before, the most serious health risks associated with smoking are the poisons that are created when the tab in a cigarette is burned. Thanks to the achievements of science and research and the use of the latest technologies, we can offer today’s cigarette-loving adult a full-fledged route to nicotine in the form of a smokeless alternative, with significant risks for his health and those around him.
Is there any independent evidence of the toxicity of these products?
They exist and are very erudite. The significant change in the content of pollutants in the aerosols that these new products produce instead of smoke, and thus the level of risk that their use represents, has been confirmed by an independent and respected national health protection organization. Including very strict authorities, such as the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the British Public Health England, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The FDA even granted the product IQOS, as the first product to include a tablet, the status of a product with a modified risk with a dream level exposed to harmful substances in the human body. At first, she stated that the product is suitable for supporting public health, and hopes that it can benefit the health of the population as a whole. or I mean, there can be no doubt about the objective riskiness of nicotine use through drug-free alternatives.
Talk about six hundred thousand Czech chicks who switched from cigarettes to your alternative products. Tute, when and if it is possible to convince hundreds of thousands of people?
It is essential that adult dogs who decide to go for the alternative should keep their cigarettes full so that they literally burn the last cigarette once and for all. And I’m very glad that we can do it, because 72 percent of those who drank IQOS didn’t bother with cigarettes. From this point of view, we can make the largest and most effective anti-communist campaign in history. Now we are focusing on cuckoos in small towns and in the countryside, where there is not so much purchasing power and there are a lot of errors and correct information. It’s nronj, what worked in Prague may not work elsewhere. A large group of cuckoos, especially the two born, made a lot of cigarettes because they had them in their hearts. But let’s not give up. We work hard to make alternatives available to customers and that each of them finds a reason to change. However, I emphasize again that our products are intended only for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes.
Pesto can’t speed it up? Make cigarettes the main source of income for your company…
Today, in Estonia, around 60 percent of our income comes from non-head tab products. The entire Philip Morris International group will have two-thirds of its income from alternative products by the end of this decade, we will develop a whole bunch of better nicotine alternatives and we will not let up in the pace of innovation. We launched the very first version of our product IQOS only nine years ago, in a pilot project and in only one Japanese city. And in the Czech Republic, it is equipped with the fourth generation of IQOS. So the shift from a handful of those first users to 27 million worldwide is a reflection of the fact that we are progressing at a rather counterintuitive speed.
I know that our company will grow to produce and sell cigarettes, but it’s not just us. Meanwhile, the classic cigarette business is so big that the moment we leave it, someone else will immediately fill our place. You will not forget that we have an unprecedented number of industries that have existed here for no more than 150 years. Historically, its only significant change was in machine-making and its only innovation was the introduction of the cigarette filter. I am personally convinced that a world without cigarette smoke is within our reach, we just must not let up.
In what way do you want to support the march of other kuks to alternatives?
Our possibilities of addressing the customer are limited, but that’s why we pay attention to him. We speak with kuka in 100 of our signature IQOS boutiques and partner stores, which we are constantly expanding, and we have several of them in each region. In addition, we have hundreds of ambassadors in the field, who explain to adults the benefits of walking on a new form of nicotine addiction. Call the call center for orders. We want to be as bad as possible, so that none of them have a reason to smoke.
The key to the success of alternative tobacco products is their price, which is affected by consumption tax. They are still growing and, according to the government’s proposals, they will continue to grow in the next few years…
Kuk is a consumer like everyone else and makes decisions based on price. It is therefore necessary that the tax on harmful smokeless products versus cigarettes be divided, otherwise the economic motivation to walk would be removed. This is the essence and role of a necessary tax, to motivate behavior that is a lesson that represents less risk and loss for the system. It is especially important that, in addition to fiscal duties, the state should also take long-term duties into account when setting consumption taxes, especially in the area of public health. However, there is one important dimension, and that is the differences in taxes between neighboring countries.
In particular, mention that cigarettes are cheaper in Poland than in Czech Republic.
Song like that. The difference is known. For Marlboro brands, it’s about fifty crowns per box. They are known to be cheaper in Poland even fully for IQOS. At first glance, it might seem that this is only a problem of the drug companies, but you know that it is not like that. The consumer buys cheaper cigarettes in Poland, but the consumption tax and VAT paid remain there.
In April, you announced an investment of one billion crowns in the production of soilless products in Kutn Hoe. What does this mean for his future?
Kutn Hora is the oldest manufacturing plant in our concern, it has been producing cigarettes for 140 years. And it’s a peak factory, which also exports around 90 percent of its production to dozens of countries around the world. Today, half of the more than fifty Philip Morris factories around the world produce homeless products, and in the near future Kutn Hora will also join them. Today, thanks to the rapid adoption of the product, the Czech Republic has been well established in Germany by the company and the duty of the Czech Republic to meet the demands of the Czech Republic if we add a new dimension of production in the near future. As we are now a small exporter of cigarettes, we may also be a very small exporter of alcohol-free alternatives in the future.
Alternative products also cause problems with waste because they use electronic equipment. Many of them end up in municipal waste.
I am not in a position to speak for the entire market, but I can say for us that we are doing our best to ensure that our team does not end up in a coma, and we are surprised by how much positive response our programs have among consumers. We launched the CIRCLE program for the famous electronic device, motivating customers to take them back to the collection box, and we take care of their ecological recycling. Czech Republic and Slovakia are among the prize winners in the collection of fully used to zazen tablets, only in Czech Republic we collect more than one ton of meat. And in Slovakia today, you can even drive along a road with walls built from recycled rubber infills.
Can you specify that?
We are a partner of the Ecobutt company, which has developed a unique system for using butts, but also for using tobacco fillers in the production of asphalt sms. It’s a fascinating project. A common component of asphalt is cellulose pms, which is important because of elasticity. And this layer is replaced by cellulose granules made from used filters and tablet fillings. When building such a road, you use waste that would otherwise end up in an incinerator or thrown away. The first such asphalt section of the road was laid last year in June in the spring above Hron, and a similar building is being prepared for it.