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The 2022 Tobacco Transformation Index

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World has released its 2022 Tobacco Transformation Index, detailing the activities of the tobacco industry that influence achieving a smoke-free world

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The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) has released its 2022 Tobacco Transformation Index, detailing the activities of the tobacco industry that influence achieving a smoke-free world. The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is an independent, U.S. nonprofit funded by annual gifts from Philip Morris International.

FSFW says: “The second edition of the Tobacco Transformation Index® (“Index”) has been published after two years of research into the efforts of the world’s 15 largest tobacco companies to reduce the harm of their products. The results in the 2022 Index demonstrate that the majority are delivering limited progress, with high-risk products (HRPs, cigarettes and combustible tobacco) still accounting for around 95% of retail sales volume.

“The Index was created to accelerate the reduction of harm caused by tobacco use by ranking the world’s 15 largest tobacco companies on their relative progress or the lack thereof. This is the second iteration of the Index, the first was published in 2020.”

Barnaby Page, editor of ECigIntelligence interviews David Janazzo and Amir Ali about the second edition of the Tobacco Transformation Index

The key takeaways from the 2022 Index findings are as follows:

  • Only Swedish Match sells a greater volume of reduced-risk products (RRPs) than substantially more harmful combustibles, due in most part to the popularity of its snus in Sweden and non-tobacco nicotine pouches in the US. A key feature underpinning the Index is its adoption of the Relative Risk Assessment, based on a systematic review of scientific studies of the health risks associated with 15 nicotine products.
  • Four Index Companies directed the majority of capital and R&D investments toward RRPs. In addition, five Index Companies, including three state-owned entities, made incremental investments or early indications of movement toward future production of RRPs during the review period.
  • However, tobacco companies are also failing to invest in harm reduction in low- and middle-income countries, with the vast majority of sales for their RRPs concentrated in markets with the highest disposable income. Notably, RRPs are banned in a number of countries around the world.
  • High-risk products made up around 95% of retail sales volume across the 15 largest tobacco companies in 2021; Reduced-risk products 5%
  • Tobacco harm reduction momentum is developing across a subset of the 15 companies, albeit to varying degrees
  • Companies analysed across six categories and 35 indicators on their actions to reduce harm caused by tobacco use; Swedish Match making the most relative progress

David Janazzo, Index Program Officer and Interim Co-President, EVP Operations and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, said:

Transformation of the tobacco industry toward harm reduction remains inconsistent and in its early stages. That said, the 2022 Index demonstrates that differentiation is forming across the largest tobacco companies, related to measures of commitment, performance, and transparency. While some companies are making progress, others regressed. On the whole, they are all failing to deliver outcomes toward a world in which combustible, other forms of toxic tobacco, and smoking related death and disease are eliminated, in order to accomplish the Foundation’s mission of ending smoking in a generation.

“Based on the current trajectory of smoking rates, it is estimated that by the end of the current century up to one billion people will die of smoking. The majority of those will live in developing countries, which is why transformation of the tobacco industry is both essential and urgent.

“It is my hope that industry leaders will take heed of the findings in the 2022 Index to push forward and intensify efforts to strengthen harm reduction strategies and tactics.”


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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