Philip Morris UK launches 7-day smoker 'conversion' programme as it targets first 100,000 smokers* to switch to IQOS
Major Step to 'Smoke-Free Future'
Philip Morris Limited (PM UK), a subsidiary of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) announces the launch of a 7-day smoker ‘conversion’ programme. The initiative, backed by hundreds of support staff, aims to switch its first 100,000 adult smokers to its heated tobacco product, IQOS.
The announcement comes a year after PMI ended its UK legal case over plain packaging in May 2016, diverting the funds from the legal challenge to converting smokers to smoke-free alternatives, and comes on the day plain packaging regulations come into full force in the UK.
IQOS is one of a range of potentially reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes that PMI has been developing over the last decade, investing over £2.3 billion in scientific research and development. More than 2 million smokers across the world have already stopped smoking and switched to IQOS since its first test launch in November 2014 in Japan.
As part of the national roll-out of IQOS, PM UK has today announced:
- Establishment of a 7-day smoker ‘conversion’ programme, backed by 100s of support staff
- Launch of an IQOS.co.uk e-commerce website to enable smokers across the UK to switch
- Network of new IQOS retail outlets and partnerships with other retailers
Peter Nixon, MD of Philip Morris UK & Ireland, said:
“This is an important moment for the tobacco industry and for smokers.
“We believe every smoker who does not quit should consider switching to potentially less risky alternatives - and our dedicated smoker conversion programme will help smokers achieve this. This underlines our determination to move towards a smoke-free future.”
Since the launch in the UK, 6 in 10 IQOS registered users** have fully converted to IQOS from smoking.
This announcement follows the launch of a pilot IQOS store in Soho, London in December 2016.
IQOS is an electronic device that heats specially designed tobacco sticks at temperatures well below combustion levels. As it heats but does not burn tobacco, IQOS generates no smoke or ash but a flavourful vapour containing nicotine. It also produces less smell than cigarette smoke. PMI’s research over the last decade demonstrates that IQOS yields on average 90 - 95% lower levels of harmful constituents found in cigarette smoke***, while still providing consumers with a real tobacco experience.
Notes to Editor:
About Philip Morris International:
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world's top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of ReducedRisk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products that present, are likely to present,
or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to these products versus continued smoking. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and industry-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. For more information, see www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.
Philip Morris Limited:
Philip Morris Limited (PM UK) is the UK and Ireland affiliate of PMI. The company is responsible for the merchandising of PMI brands in the UK. PM UK is one of the leading suppliers of disposable and rechargeable e-cigarettes in the UK, whose brands include Nicocig, Vivid and MESH.
Philip Morris has made a commitment to develop, market, and sell smoke-free alternatives, and encourage adult smokers to switch to these alternatives, as quickly as possible around the world.
*Smokers relates to existing adult smokers.
**Registered users source: Ipsos IQOS Consumer Panel, based on 207 participants (December 2016 – April 2017).
Registered users definition - initial response to marketing panel recruitment survey (all had purchase their IQOS
within past 4 weeks).
***Refers to cigarette smoke from a reference cigarette designed for scientific research purposes
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