Richmond, Va. • Philip Morris International is hoping to capitalize on the growing appetite for alternatives to traditional smokes like e-cigarettes with a new Marlboro-branded product that heats tobacco rather than burning it.
The world’s second-biggest tobacco company on Thursday detailed its plans to release the Marlboro HeatStick in cities in Japan and Italy later this year, with further expansion plans in 2015.
The short, cigarette-like sticks are heated up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius) in a hollow pen-like device called iQOS (pronounced EYE-cohs) to create a vapor.
Unlike popular e-cigarettes that use liquid nicotine, the HeatStick contains real tobacco. That’s a point the company believes will make it more attractive to smokers.
It’s one of several products it plans to test as the industry diversifies beyond cigarettes amid declining demand.