Papastratos cigarette company investing in burn-free technology

Papastratos cigarette company investing in burn-free technology

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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