Yerevan, 19.July.2019,

Philip Morris could stop making conventional cigarettes

Philip Morris has launched a new, potentially less harmful cigarette in the UK which it says could mean halting sales of its conventional products.

The so called IQOS product heats tobacco rather than burning it.

The tobacco giant claims this means smokers get the same nicotine hit, but 90% less of the nasty toxins that come with cigarette smoke.

It says trials - not yet externally verified - found the new cigarette had the same impact as quitting smoking.

The firm is not pushing that finding, saying only that the new product is likely to cause less harm.

Philip Morris International (PMI), the Swiss-headquartered giant created when America's Altria spun off its non-US interests eight years ago, has spent $3bn (£2.4bn) on creating the substitute cigarette.

Andre Calantzopoulos, PMI's chief executive, says he would like to work with governments towards the "phase-out" of conventional cigarettes.

In his first UK broadcast interview, he has told the Today programme that the company knows its products harm their consumers, and that the only correct response is to "to find and commercialise" ones that are less harmful.

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