Philip Morris Readies iQOS for the U.S.

‘Heat not burn’ device expected in early 2017

NEW YORK – Through a licensing deal with Altria, Philip Morris International plans to bring a “heat not burn” product to the United States by early next year, according to a Bloomberg report.

New York-based Philip Morris International (PMI), which spun off from Richmond, Va.-based Altria in 2008, will reportedly license the product to Altria for distribution in the United States. Now being tested in 10 cities around the world, the iQOS device is a product that heats tobacco without setting it on fire and is the result of the company’s multibillion-dollar push to develop cigarette alternatives, Bloomberg said.

The device could be released as soon as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Washington, D.C., gives its approval, the news agency quoted Andre Calantzopoulos, CEO of PMI, as saying.

“It’s good to be in the market because it’s only when you are in a specific market that you learn” what consumers will accept, Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

PMI will reportedly file its premarket-tobacco application with the FDA early next year, which is required for any tobacco product introduced after February 2007. Bloomberg said the company is also filing a modified-risk application by the end of this year, which may allow the company to say the product is less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

Quoting an analyst from Paris-based Exane BNP Paribas, the report said Philip Morris is ahead of the competition so far in bringing such a device to market.

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