IQOS is Phillip Morris International’s tobacco heating system that uses heat-not-burn technology. (Bloomberg photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Philip Morris Malaysia Sdn Bhd, an affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), has gained strong traction for its smoke-free product, IQOS, a year after it transformed its business towards a smoke-free future in Malaysia.

IQOS is Phillip Morris International’s tobacco heating system that uses heat-not-burn technology.

The device which is designed to heat tobacco without burning, would lead to an average reduction of 90 per cent to 95 per cent in the levels of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals (HPHCs) as compared to conventional cigarettes, but it is not risk free. 

With IQOS, Philip Morris International is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry.

It claimed to have been building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke.

Phillip Morris Malaysia managing director Kang Tae Koo said the firm, which launched IQOS in 2018, has seen more than 50,000 adult smokers in Malaysia switched to using the device.

"Our vision is to create a better alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.

Through disruptive thinking, robust science and years of research and development (R&D) experience behind our smoke-free platforms, we are confident that IQOS, PMI’s heat-not-burn technology, will bring us a step closer to our vision of a smoke-free future,” he said. 

Kang said the firm, with its distribution and retail partner, has opened 28 IQOS Authorised Care Centres (IACC) and six IQOS Care Corners throughout Malaysia. 

Adult consumers can get access to professional customer support in the IACCs in addition to purchasing the IQOS device and accessories, he added.

“We hope among five million smokers here in Malaysia, the adult smokers would switch to better alternatives which are scientifically proven to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

Kang said it is very important that men and women who would otherwise continue to smoke have access to accurate information about alternatives to cigarettes in order to make informed choices.

However he strictly maintained that IQOS is not for youth, non-smokers, or former smokers.