Science, Innovation, and Inclusion Are Vital in Addressing the World’s Most Pressing Issues, Says PMI CEO in Speech at Concordia Summit
Jacek Olczak, Chief Executive Officer of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM), today delivered remarks at the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit. Olczak discussed the need to draw on the lessons learned from the global response to COVID-19 and create transparent frameworks and partnerships that harness innovation to build a better world. He explained the importance of focusing on peer-reviewed science to tackle major global issues—including environmental pressure, social inequality, health pandemic, and smoking. Olczak described how the exclusionary practices of many anti-tobacco organizations and NGOs are making it harder for PMI to deliver tobacco harm reduction solutions by introducing scientifically substantiated alternatives as the company moves away from making and selling cigarettes.
The Concordia Annual Summit, which coincides with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, convenes the world’s most prominent business, government, and nonprofit leaders to foster dialogue and enable effective partnerships for positive social impact.
Excerpts of Jacek Olczak’s speech follow.
“We have come together today to talk about resilience and recovery. To share our insights and ideas for how to build a world that is better for all.
“Two things are certain: We cannot build the future we desire by relying on the same blueprints we used to construct our recent past. And returning to a version of yesterday’s ‘normal’ is unthinkable. It would be a dereliction of duty and an unforgivable waste of the opportunity before us to evolve and grow as a society.
“With COVID-19, we have been handed a terrible burden … and a gift. An opportunity to create our world anew, drawing on the lessons we have learned during 18 months of lockdowns and fear and uncertainty.
“A lesson that has been especially resonant for me is just how irrational it is to attempt to address a massive global challenge—such as the current pandemic—from behind closed doors and without input from all concerned parties. Moreover, our recent experiences have shown me how counterproductive it is to prioritize certain people and perspectives over all others to the point of obscuring truths and blocking innovative and more immediate solutions.
“We have an opportunity to build a better world, but we cannot do that until we open the doors to new partnerships and new frameworks. To initiate change, we need to open our minds and be willing to welcome all pertinent parties and perspectives to the table. To recover, rebuild, and repair our world, we must act in unison as a global community rather than be led by provincial thinking.
“As the CEO of Philip Morris International, I have witnessed how the ‘old normal’ ways of working are heaving roadblocks along the path to progress.
“The situation we face as a company is relatively simple: Globally, more than 1 billion people continue to smoke cigarettes. We can all agree that this is a bad thing—for those individuals and for the public health. Regulatory measures to reduce that number have had limited effect, but not nearly enough to solve the problem. The answers for the future lie squarely in a fierce commitment to science and technological innovation.
“Over the past decade, we have had an enormous scientific and technological breakthrough: Companies such as mine have developed smoke-free products that eliminate combustion—products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco systems. While not risk-free, these products have been scientifically substantiated to be a much better alternative to continued smoking.
“That’s great news, isn’t it? Adults who continue to smoke now have better alternatives to cigarettes. Who could oppose them switching to these better options?
“You would be surprised.
“Rather than celebrate what by any objective measure is a positive public health breakthrough, some special interest groups are prioritizing ideology, politics, and a desire for retribution over progress. Fixated on the fantasy of an entirely tobacco-free world, they have lost sight of the opportunity that exists today, refusing to accept the science behind these alternatives and rejecting harm reduction as a solution for better.
“We need only look at Japan to see a market in which the introduction of heated tobacco products directly correlates to an accelerated decline in cigarette use.
“Equally troubling, authorities worldwide are being influenced by lavishly funded special interest groups and NGOs afraid to lose the funding they gain from continuing to fight a last-century battle. Constructs put in place through the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are willfully being misinterpreted. For example, Article 5.3 of the Convention, intended to limit industry influence—something we respect and support—is wielded to censor and ostracize critics, silence reasoned voices, and stymie debate.
“The closed doors, secrecy, and intrigue that marked criticism of the tobacco industry 30 years ago are now, ironically, standard practice for many anti-tobacco organizations and NGOs. Unfortunately, their tactics are making it harder for my company to achieve our goal of no longer making or selling cigarettes. As we expand our business for the long term outside of tobacco and nicotine and invest in pharma, we are faced with the same illogical exclusion.
“The misplaced fear and resistance to change must be addressed.
“We need to remove politics and ideological principles that are impeding progress—and not only with regard to tobacco harm reduction. The harms of exclusionary policies and counterproductive measures apply with similar force to climate change, pandemic mitigation, institutionalized inequity, and other pressing challenges.
“Intentionally or not, the ‘old guard’ has created a world that is failing the majority. They have championed policies that prioritize the status quo rather than embracing intelligent change.
“It is time for new voices. It is time for more inclusive and pragmatic approaches.
“Science—when vetted through peer review—is science. Facts are facts. The notion that a scientific finding must be flawed because it comes from a particular company or industry is absurd—especially when it has been confirmed by respected governments, scientists, and other third parties. We need to remove the stigma that scientific innovation funded by a tobacco company cannot possibly be reliable or in the public interest. Equally essential, we need to stop excluding men and women who smoke from the conversation. These are the people who have the most to gain from reduced-risk alternatives. They must be allowed a voice.
“We can continue to allow these groups to prescribe who gets to be engaged in solving problems—even when they have precious little to show for their decades of work. Or we can instead work together—as smartly and as quickly as possible—to tackle the very real issues that threaten us all.
“It is human nature to stick with what we know. Thanks to the great pause of COVID-19, we have had time to reflect on where that tendency has gotten us. What we need now is not more of the same but fresh thinking. We need to break out of our echo chambers and monolithic committees and conferences so that innovative thinking and science can get through. Healthy debate requires differences and dissent. I would urge those of you gathered here today to ask how we can create a better tomorrow. Will it be by doubling down on dogma and division, or will it be by embracing collaboration, diversity, and inclusivity? The challenges before us are mighty. The consequences of our failing to meet them are great.
“I am not here to ratchet up tensions. Quite the opposite. I am here to ask you to help put a stop to outdated, exclusionary approaches that are preventing us from moving forward as a society. And I am asking you to put the public health over ideology and ancient grudges. If we have learned one thing this past year and a half, it is that science, innovation, and inclusion must be permitted to prevail.
“I stand before you four months into my role as CEO of PMI, a company undergoing a profound transformation.
We are passionate in our commitment to unsmoke the world and create a better future—a future free of cigarettes. Now, we need you—and all those in positions of influence—to join us in unsmoking minds so we can rebuild a better future for all, faster.”
A recording of the speech will be available to view at www.pmi.com/unsmokethefuture
Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company, its shareholders and its other stakeholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, as well as smoke-free products, associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the U.S. In addition, PMI ships versions of its IQOS Platform 1 device and consumables to Altria Group, Inc. for sale under license in the U.S., where these products have received marketing authorizations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) pathway; the FDA has also authorized the marketing of a version of IQOS and its consumables as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP), finding that an exposure modification order for these products is appropriate to promote the public health. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI’s smoke-free product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of June 30, 2021, PMI’s smoke-free products are available for sale in 67 markets in key cities or nationwide, and PMI estimates that approximately 14.7 million adults around the world have already switched to IQOS and stopped smoking. For more information, please visit www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.
To view this piece of content from cts.businesswire.com, please give your consent at the top of this page.
Philip Morris International
T. +41 (0)79 843 8603
About Business Wire
For more than 50 years, Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure.
Subscribe to releases from Business Wire
Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Latest releases from Business Wire
Janssen Receives Positive CHMP Opinion for RYBREVANT® (amivantamab) for the Treatment of Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with EGFR Exon 20 Insertion Mutations After Failure of Platinum-Based Therapy15.10.2021 19:30:00 EEST | Press release
FOR EU TRADE AND MEDICAL MEDIA ONLY. NOT TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO UK AND BENELUX BASED MEDIA The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced today that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a conditional marketing authorisation for the medicinal product amivantamab, intended for the treatment of adult patients with advanced NSCLC with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertion mutations, after failure of platinum-based therapy.3 If approved, amivantamab will be the first treatment in the European Union specifically targeting EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations for advanced NSCLC.1 “This group of patients often face a poor prognosis as there are currently no targeted therapy options for this specific mutation nor does it typically respond to existing therapies used to treat more common EGFR mutations,” 1,4,5 commented Catherine Taylor, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs
Leading Researchers Present 24-Plex Digital PCR Assay and Novel Multiplex Applications Uniquely Enabled by Stilla’s 6-Color naica® system15.10.2021 16:08:00 EEST | Press release
Stilla Technologies, the multiplex digital PCR company, joined researchers from SAGA Diagnostics in presenting a 24-plex digital PCR assay generated on Stilla’s six-color naica® system. To mark the platform’s global commercial launch at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2021 Virtual Meeting, Stilla’s Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Rémi Dangla, PhD, and researchers from SAGA Diagnostics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and University of Athens highlighted the new data during a discussion on how highly sensitive, multiplex digital PCR technology is transforming complex genomic data into actionable insights across a breadth of research and clinical applications. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211015005140/en/ Stilla’s six-color naica® system, the industry’s first six-color digital PCR system, answers market needs for higher performance and multiplexing technology. Learn more here: www
Boston Metal Wins S&P Global Platts Global Metals Award15.10.2021 16:04:00 EEST | Press release
Boston Metal won the New Technology for the Metals and Mining Industry award at the 2021 S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards. Boston Metal is commercializing ground-breaking technology to decarbonize primary steelmaking. The company’s technology combines patented innovations with best practices from the aluminum and steel industries to deliver a revolutionary solution to the carbon emissions challenge facing the steel value chain. Powered by renewable electricity, molten oxide electrolysis converts iron ore into liquid metal and oxygen. The modular, scalable platform produces no CO2 emissions, is highly energy efficient, and works with a wide range of iron ore grades. “We congratulate all the winners and finalists for persevering through unique challenges and continuing to drive performance while embracing change,” said Saugata Saha, president of S&P Global Platts. Dave Ernsberger, Global Head of Pricing and Market Insight, S&P Global Platts, said: “Not surprisingly, but certainly e
The Ministry of Justice makes public the evidence supporting of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s case against Anatolie and Gabriel Stati15.10.2021 14:46:00 EEST | Press release
The Ministry of Justice has launched a new website to spotlight evidence gathered by the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding the fraud committed by Anatolie and Gabriel Stati: www.kzarbitration.com. The purpose of the website is to present the facts of the ongoing and complex legal case and provide easy access to the corresponding evidence. This public repository will increase transparency around the case and dispel the disinformation and lies perpetrated by these individuals against the Republic of Kazakhstan and its people. The evidence - in the form of court rulings, expert opinions, and other publicly available documents - confirms that the Statis have been engaged in a complex and multi-faceted fraud since at least 2006. The website explains how Anatolie and Gabriel Stati defrauded international investors of their money, falsified financial statements, fraudulently obtained audit opinions and pursued an international arbitration against the Republic of Kazakhstan to recoup from the S
TP Awards Schlumberger Sakarya Offshore Gas Field Phase-1 Contract15.10.2021 14:00:00 EEST | Press release
Schlumberger announced today a significant contract award by Turkish Petroleum (TP) for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of end-to-end production solutions for the Sakarya gas field, Turkey’s largest gas reserve. The contract is awarded to Schlumberger and Subsea 7, as part of a consortium. The integrated project scope will cover subsurface solutions to onshore production, including well completions, subsea production systems (SPS), subsea umbilicals, risers, flowlines (SURF), and an early production facility (EPF). Schlumberger will deliver the well completions scope and the design, construction, and commissioning of the early production facility capable of handling up to 350 MMscfd of gas. The SPS and SURF scope will be delivered by OneSubsea®, the subsea technologies, production, and processing systems division of Schlumberger, and Subsea 7. “Schlumberger is uniquely positioned to integrate solutions from the subsurface to the processing facility, a
Pony.ai to Start Driverless Tests on Public Roads in Beijing15.10.2021 10:00:00 EEST | Press release
Silicon Valley-based leading autonomous driving company Pony.ai, today announced that it has been authorized to conduct driverless tests on public roads in China’s capital city, Beijing. The company is one of the two autonomous software companies to receive this important Beijing permit. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211015005137/en/ Driverless tests on public roads in Beijing (Photo: Business Wire) Prior to receiving this driverless test permit in Beijing, Pony.ai received a permit to conduct tests on certain sections of Beijing highways in July 2021. The company was among the first group to obtain this permit. In Beijing, Pony.ai is now authorized to conduct driverless testing in an area of around 20 square kilometers in a pilot zone for autonomous driving vehicles. The area covers major subway stations, residential areas, and tech parks, which allows Pony.ai to test its autonomous technology in the most c
Announcing the 2021 .eu Web Awards Winners!15.10.2021 10:00:00 EEST | Press release
Last night the 2021 .eu Web Awards ended in epic fashion at the Teatro Antico in Taormina, Italy. Hosted by EURid, the .eu Web Awards are a competition for the best .eu, .ею and .ευ websites. After last year’s virtual only event, we were pleased to once again celebrate the finalists and winners in person. View the hybrid event here. Hosted by Sally Bundock, esteemed journalist for BBC world news, the gala night brought us sincere joy reflected by the winners, combined with amazing performances by featured artists like THePETEBOX, Women Orchestra, MM Dance Company, Compagnia Joculares and the GAP’s Orchestra. The magical event ended with fireworks. “Being able to see real faces and raw emotion conveyed by the guests again made the night unforgettable” noted Giovanni Seppia, EURid’s External Relations Manager. “This is what the Web Awards is all about, bringing together people from various industries and backgrounds and honouring them for having chosen a .eu for their online presence.” P
In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.Visit our pressroom