Philip Morris International (PMI) will establish a new operation covering Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic States to focus on the company’s smoke-free future.
Head of Philip Morris Poland Michał Mierzejewski was promoted to the seat of vice-president of PMI in Europe and will be responsible for PMI ventures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Mierzejewski was previously responsible for the Polish, Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian markets and has had successes in the smoke-free transformation of Philip Morris.
For example in Lithuania, heated tobacco products (HTPs) have the largest market share of all countries in the region, at 22 percent, while in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, it reaches 38 percent.
According to Mierzejewski, the new operating unit will strengthen business connections between the six countries and accelerate the company’s smokeless transformation.
The promotion of Mierzejewski reflects the importance of the Polish market for PMI. The tobacco giant provides 7,000 jobs, making it one of the largest employers in the country, and PMI has invested over €4.4 billion in Poland.
Currently, 70 percent of PMI’s Kraków-based factory’s output is being sold across 70 foreign markets. The factory is the largest production center in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
The HTP market is still developing, but it is promising. Estimates show that close to 15 million adult smokers in the entire world have switched to HTPs.
The technology is not risk-free; however, it is said to be a better alternative to smoking, as it eliminates 90-95 percent of the harmful substances compared to cigarettes. By 2025, half of PMI’s global revenue will come from these innovative products, and ultimately, the company plans for a smoke-free future.