Superior Tobacco Company Curacao N.V. (STCC), a subsidiary of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) introduced in May its innovative product, IQOS, in Curacao. Over three million cigarette adult smokers have already switched to IQOS worldwide and 8,000 are switching daily. IQOS is an electronic device that heats specially designed tobacco sticks at temperatures well below combustion levels. As it heats but does not burn tobacco, IQOS generates no smoke or ash but a flavorful vapor containing nicotine, which does not adversely affect indoor air quality and produces less smell than cigarette smoke. IQOS is the first of a range of potentially reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes PMI has been working on for over a decade, investing over $3 billion in research and development.
PMI’s research to date indicates that IQOS generates an aerosol that contains on average 90-95% lower levels of toxicants when compared to cigarette smoke, while still providing consumers real tobacco taste. The company is conducting extensive research to verify the risk-reduction potential of the product, including non-clinical and clinical studies. Four of these clinical studies demonstrated that in smokers who switched completely to IQOS for the duration of the study exposure to the studied toxicants was reduced to a level that is close to that of smokers who stopped smoking in the same studies. (1)
Commenting on the Curacao launch, STCC Managing Director, Alex Torres said: “The Curacao launch of IQOS marks an important step towards achieving our vision of designing a smoke free future. Our ultimate objective as a company is to one day replace cigarettes with smoke free products that have the potential to reduce harm and benefit public health. We have the responsibility as a company to offer adult smokers less harmful alternatives than cigarettes. We are very proud that Curacao is the first island in the Caribbean where IQOS is available.” PMI has already launched IQOS in several countries including Japan, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Colombia; and plans to expand to cities in more than 30 countries by the end of 2017.