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When one of the world's leading tobacco companies commits to designing a smoke-free future, heads must stop and turn. Since 2008, Philip Morris International (PMI) has invested over USD 6 billion in research, product development, and scientific substantiation all geared towards the research, development and assessment of smoke-free tobacco products. Vassilis Gkatzelis, PMI's Managing Director Egypt and Levant, discusses the company's "employer of choice" status and sheds light on their ground-breaking smoke-free products.Q: After working with Philip Morris International (PMI) for over 15 years, what values do you appreciate the most, and what has working for a company that is transforming itself taught you? A: I am still inspired by the very same values that attracted me to PMI back in 2003 . PMI's transformation is based on three pillars: adult smokers' satisfaction, key external stakeholder engagement and organizational readiness.The first of these products is "IQOS", our heated tobacco system which is already available in 48 markets around the world.While the idea of heating tobacco instead of burning it has been around for more than two decades, it took years of research and development to create a product that is satisfying to adult smokers. Around 8 million smokers have already chosen to stop smoking and switch to IQOS which features sophisticated electronics that heat specifically designed tobacco units. Q: What is the importance of Lebanon for a company as big as Philip Morris International?
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