Philip Morris Limited (PML) has announced Iqos is the UK’s number one product in the smoke-free category (2). Iqos was launched in the UK in 2016 and was the first heated tobacco product on the market.

Where Iqos was launched, impact has followed with 72% of adult smokers who try the product switching from cigarettes completely to Iqos (3) – which emits on average 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes (4).

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As the first heated tobacco product on the market, PML has worked to establish the category in the convenience and total market – increasing the understanding of its sophisticated technology to adult smokers who were seeking a cigarette-like alternative (5). In fact, PML aims to switch more than 40 million adult smokers across the world to smoke-free products by 2025 (6).

What’s the opportunity for retailers?

Heets are tobacco sticks designed to use with Iqos heat not burn technology to release flavour. Heets are available in packs of 20, with each stick lasting for six minutes. Heets’ market share among cigarettes and tobacco heated sticks has tripled in the past year, with the UK one of the fastest-growing markets for the product in Europe (7). PML have reported an increased number of retailers around the UK introducing Heets and Iqos to their range.

There are almost 7 million smokers in the UK (8) and PML has been working to support convenience retailers to drive sales and offer shoppers an alternative.

PML has recently launched Heets Teak selection, a toasted tobacco blend with nutty aromas, available through major wholesalers. The new selection is the eighth variant available to retailers and enables a breadth of choice for consumers.

Retailers interested in stocking Iqos should contact their local PML representative. Heets tobacco sticks can be purchased at most major wholesalers.

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How is PML helping retailers drive Iqos and Heets sales?

To support customers, PML launched Iqos Care – a comprehensive and personalised support service. Iqos Care experts are available seven days a week through live chat, email and over the phone.

By working in partnership with retailers, PML has been able to meet the growing customer demand in the heated tobacco category throughout the country. This has resulted in the retail value share of Iqos and Heets surpassing that for the products of PML’s competitors in the smoke-free category (9). PML’s goal of offering adults a better choice will continue next year, with the supplier expanding their field sales team and will be able to reach a wider audience.

“It’s been a difficult year, but retailers have made a difference to the lives of thousands of adult smokers,” says Kate O’Dowd, PML’s head of field force. “We will continue to increase the availability of our products and deliver great customer support, so that many more benefit.”

(1) PMI Third-Quarter Earnings, as of September 30, 2020. (2) Nielsen data as of September 2020, which encapsulates “smoke-free” product categories – e-cigarettes (hardware and consumables) and Iqos (Device and Heets) specifically – in multiple grocers and General Trade in retail. Iqos and Heets surpassed the products of PML’s nearest competitor in June, 2020. (3) PMI Third-Quarter Earnings: ‘Over 16 million Iqos users’, as of September 30, 2020. (4) Average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). Important information: it does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. Iqos is not risk-free. (5) Studies showed that the satisfaction of those who switched completely to Iqos is comparable to those who continued to smoke cigarettes.​ 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory) (6) Philip Morris International. ‘Delivering a smoke-free future: PMI publishes its Integrated Report 2019’, published 30 June 2020 (7) PMI Third-Quarter Earnings. Market share of Heets calculated as a percentage of total cigarettes and Heets sales in the UK, as of September 30, 2020. (8) Office for National Statistics: Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2019 (9) Nielsen data as of September 2020, which encapsulates “smoke-free” product categories – e-cigarettes (hardware and consumables) and Iqos (Device and Heets) specifically – in multiple grocers and General Trade in retail. Iqos and Heets surpassed the products of PML’s nearest competitor in June, 2020.