A new report about tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) by the Tobacco Control Research Group (Department for Health) for global tobacco industry watchdog STOP in which is the research partner, was featured in Dispatches (The Secrets of Big Tobacco: Has Philip Morris Really Given Up Smoking?) on Channel 4 last night.
The report shows that PMI is addicting new users to its new IQOS product because its cigarette business is under threat, not because it wants smokers to quit. It highlights how PMI continues to market its cigarettes to young people and undermines global progress to reduce smoking.
The lead author of the report Addiction at Any Cost: Philip Morris International Uncovered, Dr Karen Evans-Reeves, said: ‘PMI wants to create a new epidemic of IQOS users while simultaneously selling as many cigarettes as possible. Despite what the company says, IQOS is not just for existing smokers; the way in which the product is marketed appeals more widely.’ ‘When you look at the data, it’s plain to see that IQOS is a cynical ploy by PMI to addict a new generation, irrespective of the harm they may cause. Profit is the true objective.’
The report has been well received internationally, generating media coverage in The Huffington Post (UK), Haaretz (Israel), The Kyiv Post (Ukraine), The Korea Centre for Investigative Journalism and Malaysiakini.