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"End of the cigarette era": This development in the tobacco industry provides for discussions

E Cigarette iquos. Still, the cigarette is not to be imagined by US tobacco giant Philip Morris - but the top Marlboro man in EU already looks close to the glimmering stalk. "I believe that the time will soon come when we will start the end of the cigarette era," said André Calantzopoulos, CEO, in the autumn. With Marlboro and LM, the company is market leader in the EU. "We are earning incredible money," says speaker Claudia Oeking.

iquos e cigarette irelandiquos e cigarette ireland

However, Philip Morris sees his future not in the e-cigarette, but in the tobacco evaporator. In the coming days, the new product will be available here.

E-cigarette as a niche product

The tobacco industry does not make this voluntary. Health-conscious consumers, advertising bans and higher tobacco taxes make it difficult for the business.

The e-cigarette, which has been launched with great hype, which evaporates aromatised liquid with or without nicotine, seems to remain a niche product for the time being. With a turnover of about 400 million euros per year, its market share is two percent. "Many smokers continue to smoke cigarettes in parallel," says Peter Raiser, the principal reference at the German headquarters for addiction. Also Philip Morris spokeswoman Oeking says: "We are sure that most want tobacco."

E Cigarette, Companies such as British American Tobacco (BAT) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) are now also testing tobacco evaporators in several countries. The principle of the device: a filter cigarette with strongly pressed tobacco is heated in a pen to 300 degrees Celsius, the consumer breathes the tobacco vapor with the nicotine.

But there is no smoke, no smell, no more ash - and above all, about 90 percent less harmful substances than a classic cigarette burning at 800 degrees. "Nevertheless, there are still potential carcinogenic substances. But for many smokers who can not escape from smoking, this can be an alternative.

"In Japan the thing has gone through the ceiling"

With the tobacco evaporator industry wants out of the Schmuddelecke. "In Japan the thing has gone through the ceiling," says Oeking. Two and a half years after the start, the market share there was 10 percent. At tests in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, the evaporator called "iquos" came to just under 1 percent market share, just like in Switzerland.

BAT has only started half a year ago in the Japanese city of Sendai. The results are "very promising," says spokeswoman Karin Schlömer. In a leading retail chain, the BAT tobacco evaporator "glo" already had a market share of 7 percent.

The manufacturers still have a profit margin of more than 20 percent, can be heard from industry circles. The cigarettes for the tobacco evaporators are more expensive to manufacture and are sold at the same price as normal cigarettes. But the tax is only one third of the selling price. This promises a profitable business.


"Philip Morris has not reinvented the wheel"

"The market is turned upside down," says Philip Morris. Now start a competition of technologies and ideas. The first e-cigarettes came almost from Asia, with the tobacco evaporator the corporations move again in their own area.

The pioneer campaigns for his evaporator with the slogan: "That changes everything." Calantzopoulos' announcement of the early end of the classic cigarette, however, has "more to do with marketing" for association manager Mücke. The vaporizer will complement the offer but will not replace the conventional cigarette. "Philip Morris has not reinvented the wheel. There are many who are out there. "

In the medium term, the Americans expect a market share of three to five percent worldwide. "You have to see the strategy behind it," explains Raiser. The corporations have an interest in "winning new customers with new products and keeping old ones". Mons also worries: "We do not want new lifestyle products that bring young people to tobacco."