Initiatives and standards

      Scientific integrity and accuracy underpin our research 

      At Philip Morris International (PMI), responsible research and development means ensuring the credibility, integrity, and robustness of our research. Learn more about the guidelines that underpin our research, and how we communicate our science through open engagement with the wider scientific community and the public.

      The importance of transparency

      Transparency refers to making the data, analysis, and methods developed on our products visible in a way that allows others to evaluate them. It is a key part of evidence-based decision-making. When a company, research group, or individual is transparent about their data, process, and the limitations of the data, it is a signal that their results are built on a strong foundation of verifiable evidence. 

      At PMI, transparency is a fundamental principle that guides our research. In developing our smoke-free products, PMI has implemented a comprehensive and rigorous product development and scientific assessment approach, which includes the accurate and transparent sharing of our standards, methods, and results, along with open engagement with the scientific community and the public through a wide range of initiatives.

      Our scientific standards 

      At each step of our scientific assessment approach, we follow recognized scientific standards, guidelines, and practices, such as:  

      These guidelines set the framework of how we conduct and document our research. We have quality and document management systems in place to achieve traceability and reproducibility, and we follow good documentation and archiving practices as required by GLP and GCP.  

      Our research facilities  

      At PMI, we have more than 1,580* scientists, engineers, technicians, and support staff working in R&D as of 2023. Many of these work at The Cube, PMI’s R&D center in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, which was established in 2008. Learn more about The Cube and the people who work there here.

      Complementing this center, we have a global network of Philip Morris R&D facilities in Yerevan, Bologna, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. These facilities not only contribute to our internal research but also foster external innovation ecosystems. 

      * Data includes employees of Swedish Match and Vectura Fertin Pharma. 

      Open sharing of research and findings 

      Promoting openness and dialogue, sharing our scientific knowledge, and attentively listening to feedback are integral to encouraging debates with experts and the scientific community. 

      We publish our key findings in peer-reviewed journals and participate in leading scientific conferences globally. We prioritize transparency by disclosing funding information and, as much as possible, choose open access publishing for wider accessibility. 

      We have published more than 500 scientific research articles on smoke-free products and related science since 2008, promoting constructive debate and feedback from experts and the scientific community. All our clinical studies are registered on Our scientific publications, presentations, clinical studies, and more can be found in our publications library

      We regularly attend international scientific conferences, presenting our results, and welcome feedback from researchers and others.  

      Through our Scientific Update magazine and Open Science series, we provide summaries of the latest research and advancements related to our smoke-free products. We also encourage engagement through our social media channels or through our contact form.

      Encouraging collaboration and independent research 

      Independent verification of data is a fundamental principle of scientific research. It helps to strengthen evidence, build on existing work, validate research methods, and foster transparent scientific conversations.   

      At PMI, we welcome and encourage independent research on our smoke-free products, methods, and results.  

      We also understand that scientific collaboration is an important way to share information and build on the work of others, speeding up innovation.  

      Our Investigator Initiated Studies (IIS) program supports external scientists and institutions conducting smoke-free product research, with financial, technical, or other support. The scope of the program covers aerosol chemistry, systems biology, toxicology, preclinical, and clinical studies. 

      We also collaborate with various research institutes, universities, and companies with shared scientific interests. For example: 

      • We developed an integrated aerosol test platform emulating the entire human respiratory tract with TissUse GmbH in Germany
      • We have collaborated with a research institution in the Netherlands, resulting in the development of AEROSOLVED: a free and open-source software for simulating multispecies aerosol mixtures using computational fluid dynamics. 
      • Our R&D center in Armenia has successfully collaborated with scientists from leading local scientific institutes and implemented five joint programs, strengthening ties with the local STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) community.  
      • At PMI, we believe that a science-based education on the topic of tobacco harm reduction (THR) is vital to enable understanding and fact-based conversation. This is why we support certified medical education (CME) for healthcare professionals in the area of THR through educational grants. 

      We have developed the ABOUT™ Toolbox, a portfolio of self-reporting instruments to assess people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors towards smoke-free products in a scientifically robust manner. The Toolbox investigates the domains of Perceived Risk, Use History, Product Experience, Dependence, and Health and Functioning.  

      The ABOUT™ Toolbox instruments are distributed by Mapi Research Trust on our behalf and made available to the wider scientific community through the ePROVIDETM platform.   

      PMI also actively engages in round tables and workshops for researchers, industry experts, and regulatory agencies to analyze emerging areas of scientific research. Notably, PMI participated in an international workshop on organ-on-a-chip technology organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing Europe. This workshop was focused on exploring innovative methods to advance scientific research while reducing reliance on animal testing. 

      Promoting openness and dialogue, sharing our scientific knowledge, and attentively listening to feedback are all integral to our goal of developing a portfolio of less harmful alternatives to continued cigarette smoking.