Marlboro manufacturer Philip Morris International (PMI) will launch its smoke-free product iQOS in the GCC later this month, according to the tobacco giant.
The electronic device, which PMI says is “potentially less harmful” than cigarettes, is designed to heat tobacco without burning it, releasing nicotine-containing vapour that features 90 percent to 95 percent lower levels of toxicants compared to cigarette smoke.
The device was launched at Dubai Duty Free in December 2018 following a powerful advertising campaign across Dubai International Airport.
The move to launch it in stores follows the much-awaited approval by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) for the sale of the device. The company convinced regulators that iQOS produces lower levels of toxins than traditional cigarettes.
The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) also announced in the same month that it will allow the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the UAE.
PMI director corporate affairs in the Middle East, Lana Gamal-Eldin, told Arabian Business in 2017: “The GCC is very important for us and we hope to make the product available as soon as proper regulations are in place and as our international manufacturing facilities step up.”
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