And O’Brien was probably right. Vaping is apparently paving the way of the novel Heat Not Burning cigarettes whose bitter failure of the past has given rise to a frank success.
This success seems to be met by the iQOS launched by PMI and Altria in 2015 in Japan for Asia, by the end of 2014 in Italy and Switzerland for Europe, and later in some cities in Romania, Portugal, Monaco, Russia, Ukraine, and Germany. A launch in the USA is envisioned for 2017.
The company expects its iQOS to be present in key cities in around 20 markets by the end of 2016 and is lobbying on many countries, especially in India, the world’s fastest growing major economy and second largest market on the globe.
In an interview Tommaso Di Giovanni, head of communication for reduced-risk products at PMI, gave to the Vaping Post during the last GFN, he is unambiguous about the ambition of his company to see all smokers switching to reduced-risk products on the long-term.
Heat Not Burning cigarettes are marketed by Big Tobacco companies as safer than combustible cigarettes and all the noise around e-cigarettes serves the cause of alternative Heat Not Burning products. Big Tobacco companies’ interest is to remain in the same distribution chain than combustible cigarettes, while looking at low risk profile products: Heat Not Burning cigarettes still employ tobacco leaf and sticks are supplied in 20 packs that customers buy every day or so.
From the point of view of users coming straightly from combustible cigarettes smoking, Heat Not Burning cigarettes appear even safer than e-cigarettes whose emissions are drastically scrutinized by researchers.
Let’s note here that the same researchers who are very busy with e-liquids and e-cigarette emissions, have not had enough time, since their release, to pay attention to the emissions of Heat Not Burning products. Hence, the only claim about their safety comes from the companies, themselves, and their R&D departments.
There is also a clear willing to maintain a certain confusion between electronic and Heat Not Burning cigarettes with a portfolio that sometimes combines e-liquids pods and tobacco leaf use in the same device, where the term “smoke” becomes a synonym of “vapor” and vice versa to appeal to smokers in a marketing effort.