Tinder is a match-making social media application that enables singles to either 'swipe right' to match, or left to move on. The app is reportedly ranked number one in South Africa for the most downloads by Android and IOS users.

Philip Morris South Africa's managing director, Marcelo Nico, says that the Tinder campaign was launched to coincide with International Single's Day. Banners link to a website offering more information on the 'Unsmoke' campaign.

"We're encouraging consumers to quit nicotine and tobacco altogether. That's the best choice anyone can make. Those who don't quit should change to a better, smoke-free alternative," says Nico.

"'Unsmoke' means to rid smoke from your life; it is not a campaign about any particular product. We want to engage consumers in a conversation about reducing smoking rates globally. Tinder is a relatable way to do this because many people base their relationship decisions on a potential partner's smoking habits," adds Nico.

Nico cited a World Health Organisation estimate that the number of smokers in the world, which make up 1.1 billion, is unlikely to materially change over the next five years. "We think it's time for new conversations that can move the needle on achieving a smoke-free future," he says.

"Philip Morris International’s studies show that the act of burning tobacco is the primary cause of harm for smokers. Lighting a cigarette releases over 6 000 chemicals, about 100 of which are linked to smoking-related disease," Nico says.

"Smoke-free alternatives have been found to reduce the levels of harmful chemicals by up to 95% when compared to cigarettes. While better, these alternatives are not risk-free and the best choice remains to quit altogether," adds Nico.

A White Paper released by the company in August cited a global survey in which 68% of respondents agreed that tobacco companies should work with authorities, consumers and civil society to reduce smoking rates.

The survey also explored the negative impact of smoking on personal relationships, with 73% of non-smoking women and 66% of non-smoking men reporting arguments with a partner over smoking.

"At the least, smokers who won't quit should have accurate information and access to better smoke-free alternatives. There's a growing body of evidence that smoking rates can be reduced using traditional tobacco control methods alongside a harm reduction strategy," concludes Nico.

For more information, visit UnsmokeYourWorld.com. You can also follow Philip Morris South Africa on Facebook or on Instagram.