I could understand your hesitation to believe that headline. I did a double take just the same, but apparently it's true.
Philip Morris International, the tobacco giant behind Marlboro and other leading brands, is hoping to phase out manufacturing cigarettes entirely and move into smoke-free products only.
The company is currently focusing on IQOS, a device that heats tobacco rather than burning it. It claims the product can potentially reduce the number of noxious chemicals found in cigarette smoke by 95 percent, although research is still being conducted.
In a report published March 2018, British government agency Public Health England (PHE) found that while heated tobacco products are likely to have lower levels of harmful compounds compared to cigarette smoke, the “limited evidence” currently available suggests that are more harmful than e-cigarettes. PHE suggested that more research is needed to be carried out on IQOS in order to make a fairer comparison.
On its website, the Philip Morris International further explains its reasoning for moving away from cigarettes after the products helped them become one of the biggest companies on the planet.
“We understand the millions of men and women who smoke cigarettes,” the company said. “They are looking for less harmful, yet satisfying, alternatives to smoking. We will give them that choice.