PMI launches a more affordable heated tobacco product, broadening access to better alternatives to cigarettes23 Nov 2022
Philip Morris International (PMI) has launched a more affordable version of the company’s leading heated tobacco product to accelerate the achievement of a smoke-free future.
BONDS by IQOS—initially launching in a city pilot in the Philippines—provides us with an opportunity to address consumer-acquisition barriers, including affordability, while providing authentic tobacco-taste satisfaction, backed by science.
Like all our smoke-free products, BONDS by IQOS is intended for adults who would otherwise continue smoking and are looking for better alternatives.
Our commitment is to offer a multi-category portfolio with a range of options that help all adult smokers move away from cigarettes for good.
As of the end of 2021, PMI’s smoke-free products were available in 30 low- and middle-income country (LMIC) markets.i Our ambition is for at least 50 percent of the markets that sell smoke-free products to be LMIC markets by 2025, bolstered by new, innovative, and science-based smoke-free products for adult consumers with greater price sensitivity.
Diversity of choice
To phase out cigarettes completely, we recognize the need to offer a variety of better choices to all adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, to help them leave cigarettes behind.
“BONDS by IQOS represents another step forward in our ambition to replace cigarettes with innovative, science-based, smoke-free alternatives,” said Jacek Olczak, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We know that no single smoke-free product will appeal to all adult smokers.
“Providing a range of alternatives to continued smoking—with a variety of taste, technology, usage, and price options—is imperative and helps us to address a range of preferences as diverse as adult smokers themselves, ultimately encouraging them to leave cigarettes behind.”
The product has been designed to be used with BLENDS tobacco sticks to deliver a variety of tobacco tastes, satisfying the preferences specific to those markets.
As well as encouraging adult smokers who don’t quit to switch to a better alternative, BONDS by IQOS is also aimed at helping existing users of IQOS continue with the product and not return to cigarette smoking.
Expanding our portfolio of smoke-free products—broadening their affordability in the process—enables us to advance toward our ultimate ambition: A future in which cigarettes are obsolete, replaced by less-harmful, science-based alternatives.
A smoke-free future means providing for every adult smoker
The best choice for any smoker is to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether. For those adults who don’t quit, BONDS by IQOS heats tobacco instead of burning it, delivering authentic tobacco taste and satisfaction without smoke and ash, and with less smell than cigarettes.ii
PMI’s new scientifically-backed heated tobacco product emits 95 percent less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.iii While BONDS by IQOS is not risk-free and provides nicotine, which is addictive, it is a much better alternative for those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke.
Providing products such as these to price-sensitive adult smokers is not only the right thing to do; it’s critical if we’re to have a positive impact on the trajectory of public health by ensuring cigarettes become obsolete as soon as possible.
“This product provides an opportunity to address consumer acquisition barriers for this segment,” continued Olczak, “most notably up-front device costs and authentic tobacco taste satisfaction—providing further options of innovative smoke-free options to help ensure they do not go back to cigarettes.
“Through continuous innovation, we want to ensure that all adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking, switch and abandon cigarettes.”
By 2025, it’s our aim at PMI that at least 40 million adults who would otherwise continue to smoke will have switched to our smoke-free alternatives—and that more than 50 percent of our total net revenues will come from these products.
As of September 30, 2022, there were approximately 19.5 million total users of our leading heated tobacco product, excluding Russia and Ukraine, of which approximately 13.5 million have switched to IQOS and stopped smoking—with the remainder in various stages of conversion.iv
Embracing the role of tobacco harm reduction
These statistics galvanize our belief that tobacco harm reduction is a key component of society’s efforts to achieve a smoke-free future.
Although it’s widely known that smoking is harmful, there are still currently around 1.1 billion smokers in the world today.
The World Health Organization estimates this figure will be approximately the same in 2025, due to population growth.
This shows that cessation strategies alone are not sufficient.
That’s why we’re focused on developing a wide range of smoke-free products—varying in taste, affordability, usage, and technology—to provide a better choice to each adult smoker who would otherwise continue to smoke.
If we can keep making advances in this space—with the support of policymakers, regulators, and society at large—we can deliver a smoke-free future for everyone.
i This figure includes Russia and Ukraine.
ii 97 percent agreement amongst 345 adult consumers in the Philippines, 2022.
iii “95 percent less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette. This does not necessarily equal a 95 percent reduction in risk. BONDS by IQOS is not risk-free.
iv Source: PMI Q3 2022 Earnings Release, October 2022.