The announcement has been made by US tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) which sells its products in more than 180 countries, the company is making a conscious move toward selling smoke-free products and away from cigarettes and that sales of their cigarette brand in the UK will stop in 2030. They have recently been advertising a product aimed at smokers urging them to switch from cigarettes, and to use safer products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
We have seen the change that is taking place with more people turning to vaping products and Philip Morris is trying to gradually persuade traditional cigarette smoker to turn to their product which is referred to as iqos, which translates to I quit ordinary smoking. The company claims to have spent £2.5 billion on research and development into new products that have helped millions in “many countries” give up cigarettes.
The Philip Morris system works by using a charger around the size of a mobile phone and a holder that looks like a pen. A usable tobacco stick is inserted into the device which heats up the stick to a high temperature, claimed to be 350C. Smoke is released which contains the nicotine, which some light cigarette smokers have found to be very strong.
The decision by PMI may be considered to be very strange when it is considered that the company had net revenues in the UK of £39.7 billion, in total PMI earned £52.9 billion selling a massive812.9 billion units of cigarettes in 2016, but they claim to be very serious about “designing a smoke-free future”. In a comment, Mark MacGregor, PMI’s director of corporate affairs for the UK and Ireland, is reported to have said that PMI is “looking to a future when cigarettes will no longer be on the market”. He did say though, that they would not stop immediately because if they did someone else would sell them! “It wouldn’t produce any benefit for those smokers.
PMI claims iQOS produces up to 95% fewer potentially harmful chemicals than regular cigarettes, but, as you might expect, not everyone agrees with PMI. On Thursday 25th January, FDA health experts suggested PMI should not be allowed to claim its iQOS electronic tobacco product is less risky than cigarettes.