Massimo Andolina, President Europe Region At Philip Morris International (PMI)

Aiming To Replace Cigarettes

Philip Morris is the current leader and trailblazer in reducing the harm caused by tobacco. It is one of the most inspiring cases of a company utilising science and innovation to impact positively on society

Despite how difficult it is for people to overcome their addiction to cigarettes, more than 25 million people have succeeded in making less harmfull choice over the past seven years thanks to the better alternatives they are being offered by Philip Morris.

What trends in the field of tobacco harm reduction could be applied in Serbia?

The trends in tobacco harm reduction are, first and foremost, innovation and science to bring consumers new and improved products. But the trends I would like to talk about are those in countries that have embraced tobacco harm reduction and recognised the role of better alternatives in enhancing reductions in smoking rates. Sweden has, for example, embraced tobacco harm reduction for over 30 years, which has allowed it to reduce smoking rates from 20%, which is the approximate average in Europe today, to just 5.6%.

A world free of tobacco smoke is a big mission on your business agenda. What do you see as the key factors in transforming society towards realising this mission? What are the tools?

If you’re asking on the basis of my experience to date, the most critical thing is to inform people. And this becomes particularly important in the specific case of Serbia, given the high rate of smokers in the Serbian population that’s around the highest in Europe, with approximately 37% of the country’s legal age population smoking.

The key at this point is to get the regulator to start making decisions based on science and not on ideology

The most important thing is to provide people with information and create awareness about the associated risks. And this is something companies can’t do alone. It needs to be done in conjunction between the regulator, the government and companies, which can then bring that information, and also the products, to the smoker.

What are the key challenges in changing the whole landscape in general?

The key at this point is probably to get the regulator to start making decisions based on science and not on ideology or dogma. The issue with cigarettes is not tobacco or nicotine, but rather the combustion of organic matter that releases substances that are just bad for you. And I think at this point that we have the knowledge and the science, and have made the innovations, so it’s time for us to move on; to continue along the path like we’re seeing with certain governments in Europe. A large country like France is stuck on a law that is 30 years old, when those innovations didn’t exist, and fails to recognise the difference between, for instance, a cigarette and a heated tobacco product. That doesn’t do a good service to smokers in their endeavour to cut out smoking.

This is really a trailblazing mission of PMI towards improving public health?

It’s a trailblazing mission of ours. We have stated clearly that we want to unsmoke the world! We want to replace cigarettes! If you consider that this is the core business of our corporation, we’re saying we want to kill our business in favour of one that brings better alternatives to the world. I can only hope that this will inspire organisations like the WHO. We should look at what’s best for people, and in this case what’s best for smokers.

Jelena Puzović, Ph.D., Head of the JVP Srbijavode Public Relations and International Cooperation Sector

Serbia Must Ensure the Conservation of the Precious Resource That is Water

Public Water Management Company Srbijavode engages in numerous activities aimed at overcoming the challenges brought by climate change – implementing projects to develop and...

Uroš Đorđević, Account Executive, Dell Technologies

Pioneer in the New Era of Digital Tech

Dell Technologies is a corporation that’s oriented towards technological innovation and keeps pace with technological trends in every sense, which includes AI Speaking in this...

Ana Toskić Cvetinović, Executive Director, Partners for Democratic Change Serbia

The Rule of Law is Vital Ana

Partners Serbia is an organisation that’s dedicated to advancing the rule of law and developing civil society and institutions in Serbia and around the...

Ioanna Batsialou Ph.D., Director and Owner of the Ioanna Regen Polyclinic

Passion is Key to this Job

Ioanna Batsialou Ph.D. is the director and owner of the Ioanna Regen Polyclinic, which specialises in physical medicine, rehabilitation, mesotherapy, aesthetics and anti-aging treatments Our...

Concept Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed

Exciting, energising and breathtaking – the Mercedes‑AMG PureSpeed concept is the highlight in the run-up to the Formula 1™...

Western Balkans Chambers of Commerce Sign Tourism Cooperation Memorandum in US Congress

A landmark Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed at the US Congress, uniting the Chambers of Commerce of the...

EU Sets Global Standard with World’s First Artificial Intelligence Act

The European Union has taken a pioneering step by adopting the world's first Artificial Intelligence Act, setting a potential...

Montenegro’s Independence Day Celebrated

Celebrating Montenegro's Independence Day with an Exhibition on Montenegrin Cyrillic Printing from the 15th and 16th Centuries. In commemoration of...

Business Event Hosts Serbian Employment Service Presentation

In Belgrade on the 15th of May, the Slovenian Business Club, in collaboration with the National Employment Service of...