The domestic makers of Marlboro cigarettes are turning to alternative technologies as the future of smoking that they hope to market as safer than traditional tobacco.
Officials at Altria announced Thursday their intention to shift focus at the company to electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn products, that are currently helping scores of smokers quit in Asian markets. The company intends to become the U.S. market leader of reduced-risk products, CEO Marty Barrington told investors in Richmond, Va., Thursday, reports Fox Business.
The new strategy is in part a response to the Food and Drug Administration, that encouraged companies in July to invest in new technologies that transition smokers off of cigarettes. The FDA also floated the possibility of forcing tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine levels in their combustible cigarettes, though it is unclear if that proposal will gain any traction.
Representatives of Altria revealed Thursday plans to submit applications to the FDA in 2018 for Copenhagen snuff and MarkTen e-cigarettes that, if approved, would allow the company to market those products as safer than traditional tobacco.
“Of course Altria is ready for the introduction of innovative reduced-risk products,” Barrington said Thursday, according to Fox Business. “After all, we helped make it possible.”
Altria also plans to sell the iQOS heat-not-burn device in the U.S. through their partnership with Philip Morris International (PMI), the global makers of Marlboro. The FDA is currently reviewing an application that would allow the product to be marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, though it is unclear if the FDA will sanction these claims.
The iQOS debuted in Japan last year before being introduced in additional countries, and is proving to be a smash hit in the region. Approximately 3 million smokers in Singapore have transitioned from cigarettes to the iQOS, PMI announced Aug. 24. The company says more than 232,000 smokers across the world, or roughly 8,000 people a day, ditched cigarettes for the iQOS in July.
Thanks to the popularity of iQOS, the company’s “reduced risk products” went from generating 1.8 percent of worldwide revenue in 2016 to 9 percent by the second quarter of this year.
The majority of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins from smoking are released through combustion, therefore smokeless tobacco and vapor products reduce harm caused by cigarettes to the user by more than 90 percent.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com.