With the company Philip Morris USA (PM USA) pushing iqos into its third market, Altria’s alternative tobacco products are emerging across the United States.
PM USA introduced non combustible tobacco products to Charlotte market in North Carolina in mid July. In addition to introducing iqos into new regions, PM in the United States reopened iqos boutiques in Atlanta and Richmond after blockade restrictions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
As previously reported, iqos entered Charlotte after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Philip Morris International (PMI) application to market iqos as an improved risk tobacco product.
Iqos is the first electronic nicotine product to be approved by FDA’s revised risk tobacco process.
According to the exclusive license agreement with PMI, PM USA commercializes iqos in the United States. FDA’s decisions include iqos devices, Marlboro puffs, Marlboro smooth menthol puffs and Marlboro fresh menthol puffs.
‘we see this as an important step towards our vision, and we look forward to communicating with adult smokers the other benefits of switching to iqos,’ Billy Gifford, chief executive of Altria, said in a July 28 corporate conference call. In order to make our iqos promotion and future expansion plan back on track, to accelerate the transformation of adult smokers.
In its third market in the U.S., PM USA has launched a more disruptive retail device that conveys the benefits of real tobacco, smokeless ash and less odor, and plans to start distributing its products to retail stores in the next few weeks, Gifford added.
‘by the end of August, we expect the product to have 700 retail outlets in three major markets,’ he said. PM in the United States will continue to use its iqos retail ecosystem, including iqos mobile, pop-up and kiosk retail formats, to provide more services.
PM USA’s expansion strategy will push iqos into four new markets in the next 18 months.
Gifford said these markets would include large numbers of adult smokers and expand the availability of iqos devices through retail partnerships.
The company also plans to expand its distribution to surrounding areas and all seven iqos markets.
With the entry into the new market, iqos website has been enhanced, including virtual tutorial, expert video chat function will be launched this autumn.
Gifford explained that these digital enhancements and the ability to deliver devices to leading market smokers with the right age validation will provide smokers with flexible choices to understand and use iqos.
Altria group is located in Richmond. Its wholly-owned subsidiaries include PM company, smokeless tobacco Co., Ltd., John Middleton, Sherman Group Holdings LLC and its subsidiary ste. Michelle wine estates Ltd. and Philip Morris Capital Corp
The company also owns an 80% stake in helix innovations LLC and an equity investment in Anheuser Busch InBev SA / NV, Juul labs Inc. and Cronos Group Inc.