According to the Nikkei Asia Review, the sales of iQOS manufactured by Philip Morris International in Japan have expanded to 12 cities after being marketed in the markets of Japan, Italy and Switzerland. iQOS is a heated non-burning cigarette that heats the actual tobacco inside by electric heating elements.
"I am not optimistic, not because I am confident in our $ 2 billion investment," Laurent Boissart, chairman of PMI International Japan, said at a news conference.
About 10 years ago, PMI started research and development of iQOS in Switzerland. Its R & D team includes 400 engineers, scientists and technicians. Tomoko Iida, manager of scientific management at PMI International Japan, said iQOS toxicity has been 90% eliminated compared to traditional cigarettes. However, because the results have not yet been finalized, companies can not declare iQOS to be healthier than traditional cigarettes. By the end of 2015, the Swiss research team will announce the final result.
PMI International commits to using iQOS for a similar experience as traditional cigarettes.
Mariko Tai, an author of Nikkei Asia Review, has a different view.
She said: "For iQOS, people first impression is heavier than the average weight of cigarettes, feels like holding a pen in his hand. This product is not suitable for typing on the computer while still want to smoke people "
IQOS consists of a tobacco rod (also known as a "heating rod"), which is about half the length of a regular cigarette and heats the heating rod by holding the blade in the device. The device requires about 20 seconds of warm-up time.
Tai Chi said: "iQOS nicotine content is fixed, which for light cigarette-like smokers may taste a little heavier.Its battery life is limited, people with heavy addiction may not choose it.Canon only Use 6 minutes, need to re-charge for 6 minutes before using again. "
Boissart said that after considering a number of factors, Philip Morris International chose to release iQOS in Japan. Because Japan is one of the largest tobacco markets in the world with 20 million smokers, Japanese consumers are also more willing to experiment with new technology products.
Boissart said: "Japanese consumers are very interested in new products, they not only have high product quality requirements, but also have strict customer service requirements."
IQOS offers 4 flavors: normal, mild, menthol and mint flavors. Each box (20 sticks) costs 460 yen ($ 3.8).
Although iQOS currently has no listing plan in the United States, Altria Group has reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Philip Morris International to sell exclusively the steam products of Philip Morris International such as iQOS in the United States.
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