PMFTC Inc., the local affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), reiterated its commitment to replace cigarettes with better alternatives with the nationwide expansion of its e-commerce store which carries its flagship smoke-free product, IQOS, for Filipino adult smokers 21 years old and above who would otherwise continue to smoke.
Initially catering to the National Capital Region only, the expanded IQOS e-commerce distribution now covers delivery of heated tobacco devices and heat sticks in North and Central Luzon including Baguio City and La Trinidad; Calumpit, Bulacan; Cabanatuan City, Santa Rosa, Aliaga, Jaen, Peñaranda, Palayan, Zaragoza in Nueva Ecija; and San Fernando City, Bacolor, Santa Rita, Guagua, Apalit, Mexico, Santo Tomas, Santa Ana, Arayat, Floridablanca, Minalin and Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
“Making IQOS accessible in key areas across the Philippines will help fast track PMFTC’s commitment towards achieving our vision of a smoke-free future. This is in line with PMI’s goal to help adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to move away from cigarettes as quickly as possible and switch to a better alternative,” PMFTC’s President Denis Gorkun said
PMFTC’s heated tobacco products were initially made available in Metro Manila last year through the IQOS.COM website, the IQOS Stores located in major shopping malls, and select tobacconists/retail stores. Currently carried by select 7/11 branches in the National Capital Region, the heat sticks will also be available at select branches in South and Central Luzon by end of July.
Earlier this year, PMI CEO Jacek Olczak said PMI is focused on developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing non-combusted alternative products with the aim of replacing cigarettes as soon as possible.
“Essentially, or 99 percent of our research and development budget is spent on new products. We completely stopped investing in the development of combustible cigarettes,” he said, adding that “76 percent of our commercial expenditures are fully dedicated to smoke-free products,” he said.
Olzcak disclosed that 25 percent of PMI’s net revenues by the end of 2020 comes from new products. “Our ambition is that more than half of our net revenues will come from smoke-free products in 2025. Our evolving portfolio will drive our long-term future,” he added.
IQOS devices use a patented HeatControl™ Technology that precisely heats, without burning, tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in a paper called HEETS™ to release a water-based aerosol. Unlike cigarettes, IQOS does not burn tobacco and therefore produces no smoke and no ash.
Gorkun noted that heated tobacco products are not risk-free and that the best option for smokers is still to quit cigarettes and nicotine products. He, however, said that “for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, non-combustible alternatives like IQOS are better options.”
IQOS devices and heat sticks are only for adult consumers 21 years old and above who wish to continue using tobacco products or other nicotine-containing products. The IQOS e-commerce website requires age verification upon entry, while the presentation of a valid ID is required upon delivery of the product to the consumer.