Lower-Risk Cigarettes Could Hit Market by 2017

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Lower-Risk Cigarettes Could Hit Market by 2017


NEW YORK -- Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is developing three new products, one of which is a cigarette that poses lower health risks to users. The cigarette, which heats tobacco rather than burning it, will be ready by 2017.

The three products would be sold under the existing brands like Marlboro. PMI's COO Andre Calantzopoulos revealed the development news in a speech prepared for a meeting today with investors in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to Bloomberg.

"We are on the eve of what we all believe could be a paradigm shift for our industry," CEO Louis Camilleri said in a speech. The new products have "the very real potential to not only be a game-changer, but also be the key to unlock several hitherto virgin territories, most notably the huge Chinese market."

The "most promising" of the lower-risk products would heat tobacco or generate aerosol that consumers inhale, Bloomberg reported. The heated-tobacco device is ready for clinical testing, and manufacturing of lower-risk cigarettes would start in three to four years, Calantzopoulos said.

A second product under development would be lit with a normal lighter, while a third uses a chemical reaction to make an aerosol that contains nicotine.

"We have to remain, however, alert to the fact that there may be bumps in the road, given the many complexities of this undertaking," Calantzopoulos said.