Lawrence Chew, CEO of Philip Morris Singapore Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Philip Morris International, has just announced that 3 million smokers worldwide have adopted IQOS, their heat-not-burn device. These huge figures confirm the effectiveness of the brand’s new sales strategy.
Theoretically less dangerous than smoking, as the dry leaves are heated but not burned, IQOS is looking to become a successful product. The brand stated that in July 2017, over 230 000 smokers had switched to their new device. The way IQOS works is quite simple. A heated blade is inserted into the heart of a sort of mini-cigarette, creating vapour but no smoke.
With the competition of vaping products as alternatives to smoking, Philip Morris has for a number of years been working to branch out. The success of this new device will ensure the company has eggs in more than one basket, as cigarette sales have been falling in recent years.
A tobacco-free future?
Eventually, the company may look to replace its range of tobacco products, which carry proven health hazards, with safer electronic alternatives. Andre Calantzopoulos, company CEO, stated in 2016 that Philip Morris was looking to help governments “progressively eliminate conventional cigarettes from the market”. Peter Nixon, CEO of the UK branch, had the same remarks.
The success of IQOS seems to be giving the brand a new direction. Calantzopoulos recently stated that IQOS could replace traditional cigarettes in Japan and South Korea within 5 years.
At the moment, it is too early to determine if this is an actual shift in orientation for the company, or merely a marketing strategy. Whatever the company executives have to say about it, the turning of the page for traditional cigarettes seems inevitable. Which is great news for vape enthusiasts! Are you considering switching? Check our our article on 5 reasons to switch to vaping.