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PML invests in vape channel to support multi-category growth in UK

April 1, 2022

An IQOS heated tobacco device

Philip Morris Limited (PML) is recruiting over 30 vape managers and executives to support vape retailers expand their multicategory offering with IQOS, the UK’s number one heated tobacco product, as the vape channel continues to embrace a multicategory approach in helping adult customers abandon cigarettes for good.

IQOS is an electronic device that heats real tobacco. The device heats tobacco sticks, known as HEETS (designed for exclusive use with the IQOS device), to deliver a real tobacco taste and cigarette-like satisfaction. While using IQOS is not risk free, switching completely to IQOS presents less risk to your health than continuing to smoke.

The dedicated vape team will offer vape retailers one-on-one support, training, and guidance on the heated tobacco category which in the UK, represented 18.6 percent of the total Reduced-Risk Product (RRP) market in 2021 having grown 86 percent versus 2020.

Retailers will also receive an attractive introductory offer and gain access to a trade engagement platform which provides additional support services, informative materials and next day delivery on IQOS devices and all ten HEETS variants, ranging from classic tobacco through to a choice of menthol blends.

The new investment from PML into the vape channel comes as increasing numbers of vape retailers meet changing customer needs by listing a wider range of smoke-free categories such as, heated tobacco and nicotine pouches – complementing e-cigarettes and vape products in offering customers a better choice than cigarettes.

Michael Burnell is a Business Specialist at The Vapourist, a vape retailer which has partnered with PML to increase access to IQOS, so adult smokers have a real tobacco alternative to choose from in-store and online. He said:

“To fulfil the changing needs of the customer, the UK is having to mature rapidly into a market of smoking alternative stores rather than specialists focused on one category. Offering customers the IQOS heated tobacco device adds depth to our range, with a product that produces no ash and no smoke as well as an extensive variant range and a real tobacco experience for the user.”

Kate O’Dowd, Head of Commercial Planning of PML in the UK and Ireland, said:“Hundreds of independent and multi-site vape stores in the UK now list heated tobacco products, adding an additional revenue stream to their businesses. With IQOS, the UK’s number one heated tobacco product, vape retailers have an alternative that complements their existing portfolio – by offering customers a real tobacco choice that’s heated, not burnt, and is less harmful than cigarettes.

“There are over 21 million IQOS users worldwide, with 7 in ten having switched to IQOS and stopped smoking[ix]. We believe strongly that a multicategory approach could accelerate an end to the sale of cigarettes in the UK within the next 10-15 years.”

Any UK vape retailer interested in stocking IQOS can either call the PML B2B team on +44 (0) 333 320 0777 or send an email via [email protected].

Philip Morris Limited will also be exhibiting at the Vaper Expo at the NEC in Birmingham, between May 27-29. Vape retailers can visit stand B105.