By Henry Uche
In a bid to mitigate the risk factors and other hazards associated with smoking tobacco (cigarettes), Phillip Morris International (PMI) has embarked on a public sensitisation on e-cigarettes (a safer alternative smoke-free heated tobacco products (HTPs) to make over one billion tobacco adult smokers across the globe switch to a non-combustible tobacco smoking.
This, according to PMI, was geared towards reducing smoke-related chronic diseases caused by different chemicals and other toxicants being inhaled by smoking tobacco with combustion which is responsible for many deaths.
At a media brief in Lagos, Head of Scientific Engagement, Middle East Africa of PMI, Ignacio Gunzalez Suarez, said the firm, which has been operating in Europe and other continent, has decided to hit African market with varieties of improved tobacco products for adults smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.
According to him, the product shall be made available to Nigerian market when all necessary processes, procedures and standards with regulatory agencies as well as public enlightenment policy direction about the upcoming products are met.
Suarez said: “Advanceme in science, innovation through technology and preferences have changed the way we live. As such, better alternatives have emerged. The essence of our product is not to encourage smoking but to reduce risks and hazards involved through our well researched and electronic products made of less toxicants, zero smoke and less harmful,”
He, however, said the best choice any adult smoker can make was to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether for those who are already smoking, but if one do not smoke at all, one should not start smoking either, howbeit, HTPs are only for adults smokers who would otherwise continue smoking.
Responding to questions from newsmen, External Affairs Director, Harouna Ly, said the level of toxicants in PMI products was reduced by 90-95 percent when compared vis-a-vis the common cigarettes in the market.
Director, External Affairs, Pan Africa Enterprise, MEA and PMI DF, Mojisola Akpata, called on parents to be on guide over their children against external negative influence and ensure children are not exposed to bad habits.