• By The Financial District


PMFTC Inc., an affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), is opening its first four IQOS stores in Metro Manila today to provide adult Filipino smokers who would otherwise continue to use cigarettes with smoke-free alternatives.

PMFTC President Denis Gorkun said that while IQOS was initially made available in the country through several retail outlets as early as April 2020, the opening of the four IQOS stores this month marks a significant step towards achieving the company's vision of a smoke-free future. 

"PMFTC’s vision is 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,” Gorkun said.

The company said the IQOS tobacco heating system will provide Filipino adult smokers 21 years old and above better alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

The innovative product includes an electronic device called IQOS that is used to heat tobacco sticks under the HEETS brand.  The tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper are subjected to a patented heat-control technology that precisely heats without the burning process.

The IQOS HeatControl technology heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the taste of real tobacco. 

PMFTC said the first four IQOS stores opened at Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City; SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City; SM Southmall in Las Piñas City; and Estancia Mall in Pasig City. The stores carry PMI’s line of smoke-free products, devices, heat sticks and a full range of accessories.

PMI, the Switzerland-based parent company of PMFTC, has invested more than US$7 billion on research, development and production capabilities to create smoke-free products such as IQOS which are now available in several countries.

The United States Food and Drugs Administration on July 7, 2020 authorized the marketing of IQOS and heat sticks in the US with a reduced exposure claim adding that such issuance is appropriate for the promotion of public health.

IQOS is the first heated tobacco product to receive an exposure modification order in the US.

Gorkun said the US FDA decision shows that IQOS is a fundamentally different tobacco product compared to cigarettes and a better choice for adults who would otherwise continue smoking.

“We see smoke-free products as an opportunity to reduce the smoking incidence in the Philippines for the benefit of the public health and society at large,” Gorkun said.

PMFTC said IQOS is specifically aimed at adult smokers.  To prevent the youth from having access to IQOS, the company is implementing age verification and access restriction to ensure that only legal age consumers 21 years old and above will have access to the stores, the e-commerce website and the IQOS products. 

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