Tobacco products giant Philip Morris International (PMI) today unveiled the “next generation” of its IQOS range of smoke-free tobacco products at a packed media conference in Tokyo.

The new lines, IQOS 3 and IQOS 3 Multi, represent the latest phase of the company’s extraordinary plan to “build its future without cigarettes” and go smoke-free.

Today’s launch in Japan — where IQOS was first introduced in 2014 — reflects a “passion and drive to provide better choices to people who smoke,” PMI said.

[The Moodie Davitt Report was the sole travel retail media present at today’s event. We will bring you an extensive follow-up report soon as part of our comprehensive tracking of the evolution of reduced-risk tobacco products in travel retail, a development of profound importance for the channel in our view].

(Above and below) PMI Chief Executive Officer André Calantzopoulos unveils the new IQOS products at a packed media conference in Tokyo this morning. “IQOS 3 and IQOS 3 Multi deliver significant improvement and innovation and mark another step toward convincing all men and women who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to smoke-free alternatives,” he said.

“Our dream was to create a better alternative for smokers, and IQOS has made this dream a reality; it’s a revolution for the 1.1 billion people who smoke,” said PMI Chief Executive Officer André Calantzopoulos. “IQOS 3 and IQOS 3 Multi deliver significant improvement and innovation and mark another step toward convincing all men and women who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to smoke-free alternatives.”

As of 30 September, 2018, PMI estimates that nearly 6 million adult smokers around the world have stopped smoking and switched to the company’s heated-tobacco product, which is currently available in 43 markets under the IQOS brand.

Calantzopoulos takes questions from the Japanese and international media.

“Our ambition is to make products as beautiful as possible but also as personal as possible,” said Calantzopoulos, the latter a reference to IQOS’s 576 customisable options.

André Calantzopoulos addressing global media in Tokyo on the eve of the launch. “Our dream was to create a better alternative for smokers, and IQOS has made this dream a reality; it’s a revolution for the 1.1 billion people who smoke,” he said.

IQOS 3 and IQOS 3 Multi integrate extensive consumer insights and feedback regarding design and user experience while maintaining taste, sensory attributes and ritual, the company said.

ABOUT THE NEW GENERATION IQOS

IQOS 3 FEATURES
– IQOS 3 has evolved via improved design and functionality for those adult consumers who “want a more intuitive product”.
– PMI describes it as “the most refined heated tobacco experience yet”.
– The device offers a smaller holder and charger, making it easier to carry while on the move.

IQOS 3 MULTI FEATURES
– The IQOS 3 Multi allows adult users ten consecutive uses without the device needing to be recharged.

“Our driving ambition is to kill the product that made us.” – PMI Senior Vice President Senior Vice President, Global Communications Marion Salzman

As reported in a recent cover story in The Moodie Davitt e-Zine (see below), PMI is investing billions of dollars into research towards creating a smoke-free future.

In a startling advertising campaign to coincide with World No Tobacco Day earlier this year, PMI underlined its vision of a smoke-free future. The company claims that almost 6 million adult smokers have already quit cigarettes for reduced-risk product (RRP) alternatives —with over half of those in Japan.

“Our driving ambition is to kill the product that made us,” was the emphatic statement by PMI Senior Vice President Senior Vice President, Global Communications Marion Salzman to international media yesterday. “We will say we’ve achieved success when we’ve killed Marlboro.”

PMI said that “robust science” underpins its work on RRPs. Its scientific assessment programme is based on longstanding practices of the pharmaceutical industry and is in line with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance. IQOS produces an aerosol that contains on average 90 percent lower levels of harmful chemicals than cigarette smoke, the company noted.

PMI added that preclinical and clinical evidence indicates that switching completely to IQOS presents less risk of harm than continued smoking, and that IQOS does not negatively affect indoor air quality. It also noted that an average of 70-80% of IQOS users have quit traditional cigarettes.

PMI has filed a Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) for IQOS with the U.S. FDA, but the U.S. FDA has not yet completed its review of the data. As a result, IQOS is not yet for sale in the USA. FDA approval is considered a vital landmark for IQOS.

(Above and below): PMI’s startling advertising campaign from earlier this year calling for a smoke-free future.

Martin Moodie in Tokyo with Philip Morris World Trade Corporate Affairs Manager Manuel Lira.

“I realised that by doing this – and if we were successful – my impact on public health and on human quality of life would be a lot greater than what I could ever do as a single person in a pharmaceutical environment.” – Philip Morris Products Chief Scientific Officer, Reduced-Risk Products Professor Manuel Peitsch 

The science behind the product

“First of all you need a vision – and it was the company’s vision that first drew me to Philip Morris International and pried me away from a perfectly valid career in the Pharma industry,” said Philip Morris Products Chief Scientific Officer, Reduced-Risk Products Professor Manuel Peitsch at yesterday’s media briefing.

“I realised that by doing this [joining the company] – and if we were successful – my impact on public health and on human quality of life would be a lot greater than what I could ever do as a single person in a pharmaceutical environment.” – Philip Morris Products Chief Scientific Officer, Reduced-Risk Products Professor Manuel Peitsch.

That vision, first relayed to him 11 years ago, was to develop products that would one day make cigarettes obsolete.

“That was an absolutely defining moment in my career,” he said. “I realised that by doing this – and if we were successful – my impact on public health and on human quality of life would be a lot greater than what I could ever do as a single person in a pharmaceutical environment.”

That vision was all about disease prevention rather than trying to “painstakingly trying to fix and cure disease,” he commented.

Today’s media conference followed a visit to the IQOS flagship store in Tokyo’s upscale shopping district, Ginza (pictured below).

Footnote: PMI’s smoke-free IQOS product portfolio includes heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapour products. As of 30 September, 2018, PMI estimates that nearly 6 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to the company’s heated-tobacco product, which is currently available in 43 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand. Also see the PMI and PMIScience websites.