World’s leading cigarette company commits to a smoke-free future in South Africa - [!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/burning-cigarette-smoke.jpg]

Philip Morris International (NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM), makers of Marlboro and Chesterfield has selected South Africa as a pioneer market for the introduction of the new IQOS smoke-free tobacco device.

The local affiliate, Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA), has indicated that the products have been available in supermarkets and tobacconists in South Africa since April 2017.

IQOS uses an electric heat source to heat tobacco at precisely controlled temperatures below combustion levels. This tobacco heating system is used with specific tobacco sticks called HEETS.

In contrast to lit-end cigarettes, which generate smoke, the tobacco heating system is designed to reduce exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents by electronically heating the tobacco, which generates an aerosol.

More than three million of the devices have been sold worldwide and PMI has had to increase production to meet the international demand.

Southern Africa managing director for Philip Morris, Marcelo Nico outlined that the company’s $3 billion investment in research and development in products with the potential to reduce risk is set to change the company and the industry forever.

“We are convinced of the business potential of our smoke-free products and are investing to make them a success as quickly as possible. Thanks to our scientific research and product development, we are now able to design products that generate a flavourful and satisfying nicotine-containing vapour (instead of smoke), without burning tobacco. This is why we call these new products ‘smoke-free’.”

The IQOS product is already available in more than 24 markets worldwide and more than 1.8 million adult smokers have quit smoking and converted to IQOS. This momentum continues to grow behind the company’s full-scale effort to market smoke-free products that will ultimately replace cigarettes to the benefit of public health. IQOS is one of four smoke-free product platforms from PMI that will ultimately address adult smoker demand. The different products will eventually be available in different price segments to cater for a wider market, and will be rolled out according to market conditions and demand.

Since 2008, PMI has hired over 400 scientists and experts and invested in research, product development and scientific substantiation. Results and methodologies of scientific research to assess the reduced- risk potential of iQOS are openly shared for independent third-party review and verification.

“We’re optimistic about the future as we work to progressively transition PMI’s existing cigarette business to these potentially less harmful, smoke-free alternatives. 

“There is tremendous opportunity in South Africa to accelerate switching from cigarettes to smoke-free products,” Nico concludes.

Innovative smoke-free product debuted on local market in April

  • IQOS innovative technology heats tobacco without burning, generating a nicotine containing vapour that yields on average less than 10% of the levels of harmful constituents found in cigarette smoke.
  • IQOS is the result of over a decade of research on a range of potentially reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes conducted by more than 430 scientists and experts in PMI’s R&D facilities in Switzerland. Investment to date exceeds $3 billion.
  • Over 1.8 million cigarette smokers have already switched to IQOS since its initial pilot launch in Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy in 2014.
  • IQOS does not produce smoke or ash and the vapour has far less smell than cigarette smoke.


To learn more about how PMI is designing a smoke-free future, please visit the new company website at