PMFTC Inc. is ramping up its commitment to deliver a smoke-free future with the expansion of the IQOS e-commerce coverage, making available nationwide its flagship smoke-free product, IQOS, for Filipino adult smokers 21 years old and above who would otherwise continue to smoke.
The local affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), PMFTC extended the distribution coverage of the IQOS e-commerce website making heated tobacco devices and heat sticks accessible through delivery to key areas in Mindanao including Davao City, General Santos City, Palomok, Cagayan de Oro City, Opol, El Salvador, Tagoloan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental.
“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’s President Denis Gorkun said.
During a media briefing last May, PMI’s new CEO Jacek Olczak said PMI is focused on developing, scientifically substantiating, and responsibly commercializing smoke-free products that are better alternatives to smoking, with the aim of replacing cigarettes as soon as possible.
“I am humbled and excited to lead PMI as we accelerate our transformation into a smoke-free company,” Olczak said.
Latest estimates showed that there are 17 million Filipino smokers in the Philippines and more than 117,000 Filipinos die each year due to smoking related disease. The quit rate, however, stagnates at 4 percent since 2009.
“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,” Olczak added.
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.
A growing consensus among public health experts concludes that burning or combustion, not nicotine, is the main cause of smoking-related diseases and deaths.
Gorkun noted that heated tobacco products are not risk free and that the best option for smokers is still to quit cigarettes and nicotine products. He, however, said that “for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, non-combustible alternatives like IQOS are better options.”
PMFTC’s heated tobacco products were initially made available in Metro Manila last year through the IQOS.COM website, the IQOS Stores located in major shopping malls, and select tobacconists/retail stores. Currently carried by select 7/11 branches in the National Capital Region, the heat sticks will also be available at select branches in South and Central Luzon by end of July.
IQOS devices and heat sticks are only for adult consumers 21 years old and above who wish to continue using tobacco products or other nicotine-containing products. 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.