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Business Transformation: An Analysis of Case Studies Relevant to Achieving Smoke-Free World

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World aims to foster discussion on the transformational possibilities of achieving a smoke-free world in this generation. Tobacco companies have an opportunity to adopt business models that will lead to a world without the combustible cigarette. There are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world today. Smoking prevalence is declining, but at a rate far too slow to achieve our objectives for smoking cessation and harm reduction. Furthermore, in accomplishing this transition successfully, we must ensure that vulnerable populations, including smallholding tobacco farmers, are supported to find sustainable alternative activities and livelihoods.

This paper contributes to the discussion by presenting six case studies of companies that undertook significant business transformations. The six cases demonstrate varying motivations, and, as business transformation is not without risk, some of the companies performed better than others.

After decades of independent research, two things are clear:

  • The tobacco industry is selling a deadly product.
  • Consumers are rejecting that product, but a transformation of the tobacco industry can provide an enormous and crucial accelerant to that process.

We invite all stakeholders to join a conversation that embraces the inevitable outcome of this situation—the elimination of the combustible cigarette—and the adoption of industry transformation sooner rather than later.

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