Philip Morris Spain Backs Anti-Tobacco Plan

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    At the “Wake Up Spain!” forum, Daniel Cuevas, President of Philip Morris Spain, endorsed the new anti-tobacco plan, stressing the importance of regulating nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, which are currently not covered under existing regulations.

    Advocacy for Higher Tobacco Taxes

    Cuevas supported the Ministry of Health’s initiative to raise tobacco taxes, promoting a tax system that differentiates between products based on their risk profiles. He argued for lower taxes on less harmful products to encourage smokers to switch to safer alternatives.

    Concerns About Plain Packaging

    While discussing the proposed plain packaging for tobacco products, Cuevas expressed doubts about its efficacy in preventing underage smoking, referencing mixed results from similar initiatives in France and New Zealand. He questioned whether plain packaging could effectively meet public health goals.

    Shift Towards Heated Tobacco Products

    Cuevas highlighted Philip Morris’s commitment to reducing the harmful effects of smoking by investing $12 billion over 20 years in research and development to transition from traditional smoking to heated tobacco technology, like their IQOS products. This shift aims to minimize the harmful substances emitted during tobacco combustion.

    Competitive Pricing and Market Dynamics

    Cuevas noted that although heated tobacco products have lower market penetration in Spain compared to Japan, they are competitively priced against traditional tobacco. He advocated viewing the higher initial cost of heated tobacco devices as a long-term investment in health, with potential savings on medical costs related to smoking.

    Cuevas’s remarks at the forum reflect a significant shift in the tobacco industry’s approach to consumption and regulation, emphasizing a balanced perspective on new anti-tobacco measures and the potential benefits of innovative smoking alternatives.