SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES EXPLAINED
The main cause of smoking-related diseases is the combustion or burning of the tobacco that produces the harmful chemical substances, according to Dr. Victor Joseph Yamat, Scientific Affairs Manager of PMFTC, Inc.
“Nicotine is found naturally in tobacco. It's addictive and not risk-free. But it's not the main cause of smoking-related diseases.,” he said during the American Chamber of Commerce Business Innovation Forum 2021 with the theme “Redefining the Future.”
PMFTC, Inc., the local affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI) participated in the online event together with experts of various fields to share insights on how businesses can leverage technological innovations to transform industries.
Yamat said that “despite the regulations imposed” against smoking, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that by 2025, there will still be 1.1 billion smokers worldwide, of which 16 million smokers are from the Philippines.
Yamat said, “our best opportunity to contribute to positive change is clear: we need to innovate and innovate responsibly.," citing PMI’s ambitious vision of "Delivering a smoke-free future.”
He said this corporate vision has a very specific goal: to provide the world’s adult smokers, who would otherwise continue to smoke, with smoke-free alternatives.
“Scientific evidence has shown that burning is indeed the main problem. The reality is the moment we light anything on fire we practically open up a chemical factory.," he said.
"This applies to the tobacco in a cigarette. The fuel in a car. Or the wood in a stove. Studies have shown that as the temperature of tobacco increases, the levels of harmful chemicals being formed also increases. The onset of combustion is actually at around 400 degrees Celsius. This is why there is a movement across sectors to reduce and eliminate combustion or burning in the equation,” he added.
For PMI, Yamat said, “This means replacing cigarettes in the markets in which we operate with smoke-free alternatives. While not risk-free, these products are a far better choice than continued smoking.”
Since 2008, PMI has invested USD 8.1 billion into Research and Development, which is 99 percent of the company’s total R&D expenditure. “We support an R&D team of 934 scientists, engineers, and technicians. We have 1,300 patents granted for our smoke-free technologies, and we have over 350 peer-reviewed studies,” he said.