Today the Armenian affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), starts the sales of its revolutionary smoke-free product IQOS in Armenia.
As the first step, trained staff of a comfortable IQOS pop-up located in Dalma Garden mall, Yerevan, will offer adult smokers guided trials, explain how the device works and advise on how they can switch to IQOS. Additional shop-in-shops will also be available in different stores of Yerevan later in a month.
IQOS uses a sophisticated electronic process that heats specially designed tobacco units just enough to generate flavorful vapor without burning them. IQOS offers an alternative way for adult smokers to enjoy tobacco without smoke or ash and with less smell compared to an ordinary cigarette.
IQOS was developed in PMI’s Center for Research & Development in Switzerland. The technology of IQOS is the result of over a decade of research. Since 2008, PMI has hired more than 430 experts and invested more than USD 4.5 billion to develop, substantiate and build manufacturing capacity for a wide portfolio of smoke-free products. PMI’s research to date concludes that IQOS is likely to present less risk of harm for smokers who switch completely.
“There is no doubt that the greatest contribution PMI can make to society is to replace cigarettes with better alternatives. The decision to launch IQOS in Armenia reflects the uniqueness of Armenian people, their readiness to challenge the standard approach and their craving for innovation. We strongly believe that the IQOS launch followed by the establishment of an R&D facility in Armenia will highly contribute to our ambitious goal of designing a smoke-free future,” - Natalia Mayorova, the Philip Morris Armenia General Manager, said.
IQOS is already available in 38 markets including Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, France and Germany. Status as at the end of January 2018, nearly 5 million adult consumers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to IQOS, with approximately 10,000 smokers making the switch every day.
PMI has commited to designing a smoke-free future by developing and selling better alternatives to cigarettes for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smomking. IQOS – PMI’s most advanced smoke-free product - is an electronic device that heats specially designed tobacco units, called HEETS or HeatSticks, at temperatures below combustion levels generating a tobacco vapor instead of smoke and no ash.
PMI conducts a rigorous scientific assessment program to demonstrate that switching to its smoke-free products results in a significant risk reduction compared with continued smoking. PMI’s studies on IQOS are very advanced and clearly point in the direction of risk reduction. Findings to date demonstrate that:
-IQOS vapor contains on average 90-95% lower levels of toxicants compared with the smoke from a reference cigarette designed for scientific research.
-Laboratory studies confirm that IQOS vapor is significantly less toxic than cigarette smoke.
-Clinical studies conducted to date demonstrate that smokers who switched completely to IQOS significantly reduced their exposure to 15 toxicants. These reductions in exposure approached those observed in people who stopped smoking for the duration of the studies.
-IQOS is not a source of second-hand smoke and – according to air quality studies – its use does not adversely affect indoor air quality.
-Research shows low interest in IQOS among people who have never smoked or who quit smoking and substantial potential for full switching among adult smokers.
Such results give confidence that PMI is on course with its plans to demonstrate that IQOS is a less harmful alternative for smokers who switch.
PMI intents at establishing an R&D facility in Armenia. Currently PMI has two operating R&D centers in Switzerland and Singapore.