MANILA, Philippines — PMFTC Inc., the Philippine affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), has started the nationwide e-commerce distribution of IQOS, its noncombustible and less harmful alternative to cigarettes, as part of its commitment to achieve a “Smoke-Free Future to the Philippines.”
The product was first introduced last year in Metro Manila. Since then, the IQOS e-commerce store now covers delivery of heated tobacco devices and heat sticks to the Visayas — including Cebu City, Consolacion, Cordova, Lapu-Lapu City, Liloan, Mactan Airport, Mandaue City, Minglanilla, Naga and Talisay in Cebu; and Dumangas, Iloilo City, Leganes, Oton, Pavia, San Miguel and Santa Barbara in Iloilo province.
“Making IQOS accessible in key areas across the Philippines will help fast track PMFTC’s commitment towards achieving our vision of a smoke-free future. This is in line with PMI’s goal to help adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to move away from cigarettes as quickly as possible and switch to a better alternative,” PMFTC President Denis Gorkun said in a statement issued recently.
Previously, the PMFTC announced that it had started moving towards “developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing smoke-free products” that would be better alternatives to smoking. The ultimate aim is to replace cigarettes as soon as possible.
“PMI is an industry leader in scientific innovation, and our ambition is that more than half of our net revenues will come from smoke-free products in 2025. Our evolving portfolio will drive our long-term future,” PMI CEO Jacek Olczak said during a press briefing last May when he assumed the helm of PMI.
According to the PMFTC statement, IQOS devices use a patented HeatControl™️ Technology that precisely heats, without burning, tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper called HEETS™️ to release a water-based aerosol.
Unlike cigarettes, IQOS does not burn tobacco and therefore produces no smoke and no ash.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year confirmed that IQOS 3 is appropriate for the protection of public health and has authorized its commercialization in US following an assessment of a premarket tobacco product application, according to the statement.
“Noncombustible alternatives like heated tobacco products eliminate the combustion process in delivering nicotine. Various scientific studies conducted has found that the burning of tobacco is what causes the production of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals linked to smoking-related diseases and deaths,” the statement added.
The firm’s heated tobacco products were first made available in Metro Manila last year through the IQOS.com website.
There were also the IQOS Stores set up in major shopping malls and select tobacconists/retail stores.
Currently, the product is available at select 7-Eleven branches in Metro Manila. The heat sticks will also be available at select branches in Southern and Central Luzon by end of July.
Gorkun stressed that heated tobacco products are not totally risk-free and that the best option for smokers is still to quit cigarettes and other nicotine products.
But he added: “For adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, non-combustible alternatives like IQOS are better options.”
IQOS devices and heat sticks are only sold to adult consumers 21 years old and above. The IQOS e-commerce website requires age verification upon entry, while presentation of a valid ID is required upon delivery of the product to the consumer.
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