The New York City-based Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), one of the largest cigarette makers in the world, may stop making traditional cigarettes soon. The present stock line will be brought down, and eventually, these items will be phased out altogether. Chief executive André Calantzopoulos revealed this while launching a smokeless cigarette in London on Tuesday. These are less harmful cigarettes, and André believes they will become popular with the smokers.
He also revealed that Philip Morris is willing to work with governments to completely phase-out conventional cigarettes.
Speaking to BBC, André said, “I believe there will come a moment in time where I would say we have sufficient adoption of these alternative products … to start envisaging, together with governments, a phase-out period for cigarettes”. Its time will come soon, he added with an optimistic note.
Calantzopoulos agreed that their products are harmful for consumers, saying that it’s our objective to “find and commercialize” those that cause less harm.
How the New Thing Works
Instead of burning tobacco, the new product, named IQOS, will actually heat it. Smokers will get the same levels of nicotine, but the company claims that it will cause between 90 percent and 95 percent less harm as there won’t be any chemical toxins that are released by cigarette smoke. Two-inch tobacco cartridges, called Heets, are heated to 350C. The release is a smokeless vapor.
Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) is hoping that IQOS will soon become popular in the e-cigarette market. IQOS will be sold to people who don’t want to give up smoking but want something that will reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases.
Results Are Yet To Be Verified
Philip Morris says that company trials have established that this new product has the same impact of quitting smoking. However, these findings have not been verified yet. Anti-smoking groups, though, are not accepting these disclosures. They are asking for independent evidence from third party tests. But they concede that if IQOS works, then it will cause “big improvements” in public health.
Of course, this isn’t the first time cigarette makers are trying heating instead of burning tobacco. Reynolds came out with Premier in the 1980s that worked in much the same way. But that product failed as consumers complained the lighting process was very complicated and it left a charcoal aftertaste.
This time, the solution offered by Philip Morris is more high-tech.