BUSINESS

Papastratos cigarette company investing in burn-free technology

ANESTIS DOKAS

TAGS: Business

After 90 years of producing conventional cigarettes, Greek tobacco firm Papastratos is planning to turn its plant in Aspropyrgos, western Attica, over to the production of the IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco product.

Starting in January, the Aspropyrgos unit will be producing 20 billion IQOS units a year, generating 400 new job positions. The 300-million-euro investment is part of a commitment made by parent company Philip Morris International (PMI) and Papastratos to promote smoke-free tobacco products.

Papastratos vice-president Iakovos Kargarotos says that in the brief time the IQOS has been in the Greek market it has already attracted a loyal following and, according to company estimates, so far enjoys a market share of 2 percent in Athens and more than 2.5 percent nationwide through specialized outlets, Public shops and one online store.

The IQOS is a rechargeable electronic unit that heats tobacco to create a smoking experience by releasing flavor and nicotine without burning it. PMI has invested 3 billion dollars since 2008 to developing reduced-harm products. This particular technology was developed by PMI’s R&D center in Switzerland and is already circulating in more than 20 countries, with a target of 30-35 countries by the end of this year.

PMI applied for approval of the IQOS as a reduced-harm product from the American Food and Drug Administration last December.

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