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Last year PMI made headlines when Andre Calantzopoulos, the company’s CEO said that he would like “to work with governments towards the “phase-out” of conventional cigarettes”. Additionally Peter Nixon, the Managing Director for UK and Ireland had said, “We want to move towards a smoke-free future and a lot of that is incentivising people to move across from cigarettes to something that is less harmful.”

Naturally, many are sceptical that the aim of such statements is ensuring the visibility of Philip Morris’ harm reduction product, iQOS.
Naturally, many are sceptical that the aim of such statements is ensuring the visibility of Philip Morris’ harm reduction product, iQOS. However the big tobacco company persists in pointing out that it really wants to stop selling cigarettes and turn the business into a sustainable one. ‘We are absolutely serious – one day we want to stop selling cigarettes,’ said Peter Nixon.

Philip Morris’s “freelancers”

An article published four days ago on the The Independent, reported that talking about this new strategy of paying people to help smokers quit on BBC’s Today Programme, Nixon said, “A freelancer is someone who helps people to give up, because for people who have been smoking for many many years, to change that habit is not easy.”

“Freelancers take them through a seven day programme, like a coach. Each day the freelancer helps them through this change.”Peter Nixon, Managing Director, PMI UK

“Freelancers take them through a seven day programme, like a coach. Each day the freelancer helps them through this change.” explained the managing director, whilst insisting that the company’s main objective is helping people, move away from cigarettes.

Claims that iQOS is a more effective than e-cigarettes

Nixon added that 70% of people are able to quit using their “Heat not Burn” product, adding that via vaping, only about 15 to 20 per cent of people are able to achieve the same success. “Products like this are an absolute game changer for the industry and they’re really going to help people stop smoking,” said Nixon about iQOS.

“Products like this are an absolute game changer for the industry and they’re really going to help people stop smoking.”Peter Nixon, Managing Director, PMI UK

PMI’s iQOS is already available in several countries including Switzerland, Italy, and most importantly in Japan, where it has had unparallel success. The product is also expected to be available for sale in the US later this year, following an extensive application process with US health authorities. Additionally the product would only be allowed to be marketed as a safer alternative after a second certification process with the FDA.