Yesterday, Philip Morris International’s shares plummeted almost 18% — their lowest in a decade — after sales of their new flagship device to make smoking “healthier” slowed in Japan.
The device is called iQOS and, according to CNBC, it’s a heat-not-burn product that warms tobacco to a temperature high enough to emit an aerosol, but not high enough to cause combustion — one of the processes that makes smoking OG cigs so harmful.
Putting all their cigarettes in one carton
With fewer and fewer people bangin’ heats these days, PM has long looked to move beyond cigarettes — that’s where iQOS comes into play.
Or so they thought — the product, available in more than 30 markets, proved to be a massive hit in Japan last year, causing the company to double down on production.
But this quarter, sales for the iQOS plateaued, proving it may be harder to get their power customers to quit traditional cigarettes than they thought.
Turns out, cigarettes are addictive
In the wake of history repeating itself, the booming vape industry led by Juul has the nicotine-interested youth in the palm of their hands.
Philip Morris converted as many young people as they could, but if they want to get a leg up, they need to convince their main cohort — the 50+ crowd that clung to the Marlboro man in the first place — that a hot new gadget is better than what their horseback-hero smoked.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less