Statement prepared by Stacia Brezinski to be delivered at the Philip Morris International Shareholders’ Meeting on May 1, 2019.
“Good morning. My name is Stacia and I’m a public health advocate.
Despite your corporation’s claim that iQOS is a less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes, yesterday, FDA experts pointed out that, while the product is cleared for sale, iQOS has not been officially “approved” by the FDA, because all tobacco products are potentially harmful and addictive, and people who do not use tobacco products should continue not to.
Your company’s website states that, “We understand the millions of men and women who smoke cigarettes. They are looking for less harmful, yet satisfying, alternatives to smoking. We will give them that choice.” But what about the billions of people who choose not smoke? Your own Chief Operating Officer told the public “If you don’t smoke, don’t start.” I’m curious, if Philip Morris International means what it says, then once the future is smoke-free, and there are no more combustible cigarette users to convert, where will your customers come from?”