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Philip Morris Ltd has reached an agreement with Altria Group Inc. to terminate the commercial contract for IQOS and will hold exclusive rights to market and distribute the device in the United States from April 2024. The United States market is considered the world's largest and leading market for smokeless tobacco products and cigarette alternatives that burn tobacco.
Philip Morris Ltd CEO Jacek Olczak said at the signing of the agreement: “Today we mark a historic milestone on our journey to a smoke-free future. This agreement will give us full rights to trade IQOS in the US in 18 months to realize the full potential of this product in the world's largest smoke-free market, while leveraging the company's strategic and financial commitment to succeed.
IQOS is the world's leading alternative to cigarettes based on heating tobacco instead of burning it. It has a proven strong growth trend in numerous international markets in Europe and the US, which are open to promoting evidence-based, harm-reducing tobacco products as alternatives to regular cigarettes for adult smokers that do not stop smoking. Since 2008, Philip Morris has invested more than $9 billion in the research and development of smoke-free products, and they are now available in more than 70 markets worldwide. It is estimated that 13.5 million adult smokers have already switched to IQOS and quit cigarettes, and the total number of IQOS users worldwide is about 19.5 million people (including smokers who have not yet stopped using cigarettes).
About two and a half years ago, in July 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an order allowing the sale of IQOS and effectively recognizing it as a tobacco product, which is fundamentally different from cigarettes. The decision was made after an in-depth scientific study that lasted about 4 years. This is the first time that the FDA has cleared the market for an innovative alternative for smokers with less exposure to harmful substances than cigarette smoking. In March 2022, the FDA issued another directive granting a similar approval to the new generation IQOS3 system, stating, among other things, that “(1) this system heats tobacco, not burns it; (2) provides a significant reduction in the formation of harmful chemicals; (3) scientific studies have shown that switching completely from regular cigarettes to IQOS significantly reduces the body's exposure to harmful chemicals.
Philip Morris Israel CEO Roy Amit: it is a fait accompli and a real revolution. Philip Morris introduced this product in Israel with the goal of making it available to adult smokers who continue to smoke. It is an alternative to continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes and is well established to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. We hope that the Israeli authorities will see smoke-free alternatives as an opportunity to improve public health, given Israel's high smoking rate, which has remained unchanged in recent years, according to the Ministry of Health's own data.
Photo: Philip Morris Ltd
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