PMI aims at delivering a smoke-free future and strengthening the economy through its investments in Romania

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 18/02/2022 | 13:10

Philip Morris International (PMI) is committed, globally to delivering a smoke-free future and replacing cigarettes with better alternatives and Romania sits at the center of this strategy to deliver through its Otopeni factory, according to company representatives. The Romanian factory is one of the most important global production facilities for consumables for smoke-free alternatives. Digital infrastructure, retail and commercial activities also play an important role in the development / growth of smoke-free alternatives category.

 

We are fully committed to delivering a smoke-free future, for the benefit of over one billion smokers worldwide, of which almost 5 million are in Romania. We, as a company, are fundamentally transforming to achieve this mission. The impact of our activity is visible both in Romania and in other markets where the consumables for the smoke-free products manufactured in Romania are exported.”, said Daniel Cuevas, Managing Director, Philip Morris Romania.

In 2017, PMI started investing in transforming the Otopeni factory from a cigarette production facility into one that produces consumables for IQOS. $ 500 million has been invested in the in the development of manufacturing capacities, the training of the employees and the implementation of sustainability solutions. Currently there are almost 1,000 employees in the Otopeni factory. Over 300 new jobs have been created since 2017. Globally, there are seven other factories in the world that produce consumables for IQOS. Of these, only three are located in the European Union (Romania, Greece and Italy). At present, the factory in Otopeni is the second largest factory in Europe in terms of production of consumables for IQOS, after the factory in Bologna (Italy), and the 3rd in the world, after those in Italy and Russia.

The economic impact of the factory is significant, in addition to the jobs created. 92% of the factory’s output is exported to 54 markets spread over five continents. In 2020, Romania’s exports of goods belonging to the product group “Other tobacco and tobacco substitutes”* amounted to EUR 669 million. These consist predominantly of heated tobacco products. This category of products is ranked among the top 5 agri-food products exported from Romania. In 2020, the category exceeded the value of sunflower seeds exports, Romania being the largest producer of sunflower seeds in the EU.

The company continue to invest in the smoke-free product portfolio in Romania, which includes the IQOS device, launched in 2015, and lil SOLID 2.0, launched at the end of 2021. lil SOLID 2.0 is developed by KT&G, the leading company producing tobacco and nicotine in South Korea, and introduced by IQOS in Romania. The consumables for these devices are produced in the Philip Morris Romania factory in Otopeni. In addition, the factory also produces consumables for ILUMA, the latest generation of IQOS launched in Japan and Switzerland.

In 2022 our focus remains on transitioning the business from cigarettes to smoke-free alternatives, bringing scientifically substantiated better products and keeping consumers at the center of what we do. We are going to do this by continuing to invest in improving the consumer experience and bringing constant innovation to the market. Also, the investments in our state-of-the-art factory in Otopeni and the development of the commercial infrastructure and of our people are essential components of the transition to a smoke-free Romania.”, said Daniel Cuevas, Managing Director Philip Morris Romania.

In 2022-2023, PMI will continue to invest more than $100 million and to develop the production capacity of smoke-free consumables for the domestic and foreign markets. Another important goal of these investments is for the factory to become carbon neutral by 2024.

To continue investing and to offer the 5 million adult smokers in Romania the opportunity to switch to better alternatives to continued smoking, it is not enough for Philip Morris International to fundamentally transform. A combined public effort is needed, and the authorities, civil society, the medical community and the scientific community need to provide smokers with accurate and scientifically substantiated information about the risks they face if they continue to smoke. In addition, they must be able to access accurate information about the alternatives available to them if they do not completely give up cigarettes and nicotine. Last but not least, there is a need for a regulatory framework and a fiscal framework that encourages smokers to switch to alternatives, just as there is a regulatory framework and a fiscal framework that helps us move to green energy or to the electric car. The future of public health depends on the public policies that the authorities will promote in this domain. “, said Dragoș Bucurenci, External Affairs Director, Philip Morris Romania.

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