A “smokeless cigarette” launched by Phillip Morris could replace the tobacco company’s famous cigarettes. The company’s new Iqos product, recently launched in the U.K., could eventually mean that the company discontinues its regular tobacco products, the BBC reported Wednesday.
The company’s new replacement Iqos tobacco product heats the tobacco as opposed to burning it, a process that the company says could mean less harmful toxins for smokers. The new Iqos products still have nicotine, but because the product is not actually burning the tobacco, the replacement cigarette product could be better than actual smoking. The products are not the same as e-cigarettes, which use a heated nicotine fluid that produces vapor.
Phillip Morris International, which first began as a tobacco shop in 1847, quickly became a dominating force in the tobacco industry and is known for its Marlboro brand cigarettes. But Phillip Morris International’s chief executive, Andre Calantzopoulos, has said that he would like to work toward “phasing-out” cigarettes.
“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,” Calantzopoulos said on BBC Radio 4 in an interview.
On its site, Phillip Morris International explains its steps toward creating alternatives to conventional cigarettes and tobacco products: “Our focus is on developing products that look, feel and taste as much as possible like conventional cigarettes and which, based on robust scientific evidence, are shown to be less harmful than conventional cigarettes.”
Nicotine-laden e-cigarettes have been noted to delay, and sometimes lead to, actual smoking, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on smoking and information on e-cigarettes. Listed under the study’s potential public health warnings, it cites that e-cigarette use could “delay complete smoking cessation among current smokers” and “lead to use of nicotine and/or other tobacco products by youth and nontobacco users.”