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Philip Morris Looks To Abandon Cigarettes

Philip Morris Looks To Abandon Cigarettes

 

 

Philip Morris Looks To Abandon Cigarettes & Embrace Vaping (or Something)

One of the world’s largest tobacco companies is making a New Year's resolution to give up cigarettes and focus more on products similar to vapes in the year 2018.


Philip Morris, who owns two of the largest cigarette brands, Marlboro and Parliament, recently posted a full page advertisement in the U.K. promoting the end of cigarettes in the country and replacing cigarettes with reduced-harm alternatives, according to a report in The Independent.  


This change in focus for the business comes as their new product, the I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking (IQOS) has been successfully marketed in  in other countries as it awaits approval by America’s Food and Drug Administration.


The firm has claimed that their products are sold to over 3.7 million consumers and available in “key cities in over 27 countries around the world.” They argue that these products, which heat the tobacco in PG-soaked cigarettes instead of burning it, release less toxins .


The Advertisement


The company's advertisement read: “Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it's our turn."

“Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes in the UK. It won't be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality. There are 7.6 million adults in the UK who smoke. The best action they can take is to quit smoking,” it continued.


Peter Nixon, managing director of Philip Morris, said he believed the company had “an important role to play in helping the UK become smoke-free”.

“We recognise that never starting to smoke — or quitting altogether — are always the best option. But for those who continue to smoke, there are more alternatives than ever available in the UK,” Nixon says.


Controversy


The Philip Morris company has been pushing its IQOS products for a few years now; their first smokeless tobacco systems rolled out in Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy in 2014. However, despite the relative success in other countries, the products have hit multiple roadblocks in the United States.  


In December, an investigation by Reuters cited former Philip Morris insiders who reportedly questioned the quality of the company’s internal research backing the claim that its smoke-free products are less harmful than cigarettes. The company defended its research and told the news agency that all of its studies were carried out by suitably qualified and trained professionals.

This lead to a class action lawsuit in December when the company was accused of “irregularities in the clinical experiments” of the IQOS systems, and that Philip Morris failed to disclose those irregularities. This failure to disclose those experiments has implications because it could give the false impression on people who were expecting approval from the FDA, and therefore a false impression of the value of their investment.


Still, Philip Morris also owns the popular Mark Ten convenience store brand of cigalikes, second only to the Vuse system with last-generation closed systems - what remains to be seen is whether the company pursues a two-pronged strategy of heat-not-burn products in combination with more traditional vapor options, or whether it doubles down on the IQOS, which will allow continued cigarette sales indefinitely.



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