Phillip Morris has recently launched their competitive solution to vaping the IQOS. Cigarettes have stayed more or less the same for decades but it seems that Big Tobacco, namely Phillip Morris, are starting to feel the pinch from the vaping revolution and as their profits tumble they have come out with a new product to stave off the competition.
So what is the IQOS and how does it work?
The technology is simple and isn't new to the scene. in the 1980 Phillip Morris launched a very similar product but it failed as smokers complained that the device was clumsy and the taste was not up to scratch. The device heats up the tobacco in specially designed cigarettes, think of taking a cigarette and cutting it in half. The idea is that by heating the tobacco to 350C and vaporising the nicotine instead of combusting the tobacco the device is far safer than smoking. Given what we know about vaping it would be fair to assume that this product is probably safer than traditional smoking. The interesting thing to note is that the cigarettes contain vegetable glycerine. This is an additive in almost all E Juice for electronic cigarettes.
So what does this mean for the vaping market?
Well as the adage goes... time will tell! However, I think this will most likely be a positive turn of events as far as the vaping industry is concerned. The CEO of Phillip Morris conceded recently to the BBC that it is very likely that traditional cigarettes will banned by some many industrialised nations in the next decade as technology allows smokers avail of safer alternatives. The IQOS (I Quit Original Smoking) is their attempt at getting a share in the burgeoning market. As consumers are encouraged to consider other options it is likely that many will opt for the Electronic Cigarette as this will always be a cheaper option and the variety in the market is always an attractive prospect.
The product is said to have cost Phillip Morris $3bn to develop! A colossal figure to produce a simple product and at $55AUD it comes with a hefty price tag. The user will also have to buy the specially designed cigarettes and these I'm sure will still be taxed as cigarettes are.
The tobacco industry has benefitted from the misinformation surrounding Electronic Cigarettes for a number of years now but as they have produced a product that in many ways closely resembles Electronic Cigarettes in design and functionality those smokers who have been reluctant to make the change to vaping may be forced to face the reality and governments may be forced to allow their citizens to access the safer alternatives.
The product is currently available in Japan, Spain and Italy. It remains to be seen if it will be allowed to be marketed in Australia, USA and the rest of the world.
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