Philip Morris International – the behemoth of the tobacco industry – has declared 2019 to be the “Year of Un-smoking”. Who knew?
PMI came later in joining the e-cigarette party but have since been making up for lost time. In August 2019 they published a detailed and extensively researched international study into the impact of smoking on personal relationships and the effects of the lack of consistent information available about smoke-free products.
What did the PMI study state?
The study was conducted in 13 countries among adults aged 21 to 74. What it confirms is that the issues we already see around misinformation and lack of access to expert help for the millions of smokers who want to quit are not unique to the UK. Every country examined in the report suffers from the same shortage of support and too much contradictory advice. Controversies are just as prevalent, and the confusion and untruths they generate in the media around vaping and e-cigarettes continues to complicate matters for people who smoke. The result is that the sceptics are quickly becoming the biggest advocates of continued tobacco consumption.
The survey’s review of smoking’s impact on personal relationships has revealed some fairly obvious findings that still nonetheless needed to be said. For example:
- Non-smokers of all ages and genders don’t like visiting smokers’ homes
- Non-smokers don’t like the smell of smokers’ clothes
- More than half of all smokers feel uncomfortable around their non-smoking friends
- 17% of non-smokers have considered leaving their smoking partners
- In the few countries where smoking is considered ‘normal’, non-smokers feel excluded from social groups, or at least on the edge of them
So what does the term un-smoking mean?
PMI have launched Unsmoke Your World in an attempt to be the final word on tobacco alternatives, give smokers who would otherwise continue smoking the opportunity to switch to science-backed, smoke-free products and therapies, and try to end the political stalemate in policy-making. It’s very similar to the UK’s Vapril awareness initiative, in that it encourages quitters to tell their stories and inspire others to follow their example.
It could be argued that PMI’s keenness to promote tobacco alternatives is somewhat self-serving – they are one of the leading global manufacturers of e-cigarettes after all – but here at Jucce and Juccier, with our partner brand NVee, we support and applaud any scheme that raises the profile of vaping and encourages smokers to make the switch and take up un-smoking. We will be watching the “Unsmoke Your World” initiative with interest.