Ahead of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), Carlton Lawson of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health shares how Nicorette is delivering on its commitment to free its internal and external stakeholders from tobacco and nicotine.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Healthcare focuses on solving complex and preventable health problems – in particular the eradication of tobacco use and preventable skin cancers – by collaborating on initiatives both inside and outside the company in the sound frame Healthy Living Mission.
In honour of world no tobacco daywe asked Carlton Lawson — Company Group President at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health EMEA — on how the company supports a tobacco-free workforce, Nicorette®the gift of World Health Organization (WHO) and others.
This year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day is “Tobacco: A Threat to Our Environment”. Do you see the environmental cost as an additional reason for people to quit smoking?
CL: Yes — at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, we believe that for people to thrive, we need a healthy planet. This is why we are accelerating our actions to protect our environment and meet important challenges for human health, such as quitting smoking. We are driven by a vision to provide all smokers with access to quit smoking solutions, saving the lives of more smokers every day, while meticulously caring for the planet we live on through unwavering attention to sustainability at all levels. Nicorette envisions and advocates for a tobacco-free world – where people and the planet have health to breathe. Our job is to promote healthier employees, healthier people and a healthier planet.
Let’s start with healthier employees. How do you help your workforce quit smoking?
CL: Our goal is to encourage our employees and their family members to quit tobacco and nicotine for good. As a consumer healthcare company, we want to have the healthiest workforce in the world. We constantly engage and empower our employees to make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development outside of the workplace, including encouraging them and their families to quit smoking, and helping them understand their role in driving change through the Healthy Lives mission. For example, we are studying pilots on how we can support our employees on their exit journey in certain markets around the world. Johnson & Johnson also has a long-standing, worldwide Tobacco-Free Workplace Policy, which provides everyone with a smoke-free workplace.
How does the company help consumers quit smoking?
CL: Nicorette pioneered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) over 50 years ago and continues to bring innovations to market to help smokers quit today in 65 countries around the world. We do this by developing innovative treatment options, working with key stakeholders to ensure NRT remains the first-line treatment, and partnering with health systems to promote smoking cessation policies and increase access to treatments and services.
One way is to work with partners to ensure people who want to quit have access to support, including NRTs. Thanks to our partnership with the WHO on the
Access Initiative to Quit SmokingJohnson & Johnson Consumer Health donated over $675,000 Nicorette Invisipatch
quit smoking patches – worth over $1.7 million in retail value – to help support 10,000 people in Jordan and the Philippines to quit smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
How does smoking cessation support evolve with scientific advances and new technologies?
CL: We draw on over 50 years of research and development, over 200 clinical studies and 40 years of commercial expertise – in partnership with behavioral scientists – to create science-based, clinically proven anti-smoking solutions employing behavior change techniques to create new cessation programs.
In 2020, we launched the world’s first over-the-counter connected medicine.
Nicorette QuickMist SmartTrack™
links our quick cravings spray to a behavioral support app that allows consumers to create a tailored quitting plan, track NRT usage and smoke-free days, and ask for tips to help them quit to smoke, for good.
Going back to this year’s environmental theme for World No Tobacco Day, how do you ensure that the production of NRT does not have a negative impact on the environment?
CL: We are committed to protecting the environment by developing more sustainable products and packaging and reducing our use of plastic, as well as our carbon footprint. We remove unnecessary packaging, reduce our use of problematic plastics and encourage recycling with clear packaging instructions. Throughout 2022, all of our consumer Nicorette cartons will come from sustainably managed forests.
Our Nicorette manufacturing facility in Helsingborg, Sweden is Johnson & Johnson’s first carbon neutral facility, a status achieved and accredited in 2017 and renewed in 2021. In 2021, the manufacturing facility was also recognized by joining the World Economic Forumit is Global Flagship Networkwhich rewards manufacturing plants using technologies to transform factories, value chains and business models.
How was the Helsingborg plant able to achieve carbon neutrality?
CL: This goal has been achieved through a number of measures, including reducing energy consumption through investments in more efficient technologies and using excess heat from other manufacturing sites in the region to heat our factory. We have reduced natural gas consumption, replacing the remaining small amount of natural gas with biogas.
To reduce food waste, leftover food from the Helsingborg restaurant is frozen and sold to employees at a reduced price; and discarded food and peelings are sent to the local plant to make biogas. In addition, all internal transport between the two locations in Helsingborg is done with hybrid or electric cars. The site has been recognized by the city of Helsingborg as the most bike-friendly company.
What’s next for Nicorette?
CL: Nicorette has been helping smokers quit for over 40 years, and we are committed to bringing the right solutions to market that will enable this in the future. Nicorette has a comprehensive portfolio of withdrawal solutions under development that leverages best clinical and behavioral sciences, digital health, external partnerships and sustainable practices that will allow us to continue to support people who quit smoke on their journey to freedom from tobacco and nicotine.