E-cigarettes brands, particularly Juul, are under significant scrutiny in the U.S. as vaping among teenagers increases and the amount of mysterious lung illnesses rise. With this in mind, cigarette and tobacco manufacturing giant Philip Morris International (PMI) is looking to help legal-aged smokers switch to "less harmful, science-based alternatives."
In its new "Simply Amazing" campaign, which has started rolling out in the U.K. in IQOS stores and on the IQOS website, PMI is looking to celebrate its users, said Stefano Volpetti, the company’s new chief consumer officer. The initiative will roll out in the EU and Asia next, with all assets running without logos or copy to comply with regulations.
PMI will not run the campaign in the U.S. since the company has a distribution agreement with Altria for IQOS in the states. Altria is currently testing IQOS in Atlanta.
"IQOS is a better alternative to traditional cigarettes, and there are one billion smokers around the world," Volpetti told Campaign US. "Our mission and my personal mission is to really change the trajectory of public health globally. It’s an amazing responsibility and one we take extremely seriously."
Unlike Juul, IQOS has been authorized for sale by the FDA, he said, adding that since launching five years ago, the heated tobacco device has reached 12 million consumers, about 8.8 million whom have completely abandoned traditional cigarettes.
"These users were former smokers of traditional cigarettes and they have been trying to find a solution for years. They want the pleasure of smoking without the impact, and IQOS is the start to a journey to a better life," said Volpetti.
Of the six million IQOS consumers in Japan, 98 percent were former smokers. This is a big contrast to Juul users, many whom have never smoked a traditional cigarette before picking up the vaping device.
IQOS, which is available in 51 markets around the world, will bring the new campaign to life across both digital and traditional, retail-focused pushes.
PMI’s objective by 2025 is to have 30 percent of its sales in volume to come from new technology and reduced-risk projects, which Volpetti said is a "very tangible goal."