IASLC Statement Regarding Philip Morris’ Smoke-Free Future

Leading Global Lung Cancer Association Highlights the Importance of Tobacco Control

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On February 1, 2017, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) issued the following statement:

According to its own public reports, in 2016 Phillip Morris manufactured 800 billion cigarettes. Thus, [IASLC] views with some skepticism Philip Morris’ recent statement committing to the design of a smoke-free future.1 While the idea of a ‘smoke-free future’ is something our association of over 5,000 lung cancer specialists worldwide endorses, the statement from Philip Morris notes that the proposed alternatives to tobacco cigarettes are only “potentially less harmful” and makes no concrete commitment to immediate reduction in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco cigarettes worldwide.

The IASLC supports real and meaningful efforts to reduce and eliminate the use of tobacco cigarettes worldwide. The development of nicotine delivery products that reliably reduce harm associated with smoking could improve our patients’ lives as long as they are tied to a real commitment to end the sale of conventional cigarettes.

To demonstrate real and meaningful commitment to a smoke-free future, the IASLC recommends that Philip Morris and its affiliated companies do the following:

  • Support government proposals such as differential taxes on cigarettes and other harmful combustible tobacco products;
  • Support government regulations such as plain packaging and graphic health warnings on cigarettes and other harmful combustible tobacco products;
  • Immediately cease litigation opposing the above measures worldwide;
  • Support efforts to make sure consumers are properly informed about the relative risks of different tobacco products;
  • Support the establishment of effective comprehensive regulatory oversight of its products
  • Openly share product-related information on all products (both past and present) with public health scientists so that the science can be independently evaluated with regard to potential benefits/harms associated with older vs new products;

Support smoking cessation programs worldwide.

Until then, the IASLC remains committed to tobacco control, to ending the sale of tobacco cigarettes worldwide, and to substantial improvements to the lives of our patients and the future of public health. ■


1. Philip Morris International: Designing a Smoke-Free Future. Available at Accessed February 1, 2017.