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Philip Morris Reaffirms Smoke-Free Commitment With Lifting of Tobacco Ban

By: Staff Reporter

Tobacco Company Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) has welcomed the government’s decision to lift the ban on tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Although the blanket ban was a missed opportunity to offer consumers scientifically substantiated, better alternatives to cigarettes, PMSA is hopeful that the country will incorporate tobacco harm reduction into its plans to address smoking rates in South Africa. 

“While the best option is to quit nicotine and tobacco entirely, most smokers don’t. Despite the most extreme measure of banning tobacco products in South Africa, a recent independent study indicated that the vast majority of smokers surveyed continued buying cigarettes. We believe that regulators should increasingly rally around scientific evidence and work for constantly improved regulations that can be leveraged for people who smoke and public health.  Regulating scientifically substantiated, smoke-free products differently from cigarettes, in addition to the current measures aiming to prevent youth initiation and encouraging smokers to quit, would ensure that those who continue smoking make better choices than cigarettes. We look forward to engaging with regulators, the scientific community, civil society and the public on this,” says Nico. 

With the lifting of the ban, the company reaffirms its commitment to create a smoke-free South Africa by encouraging all those who would otherwise continue smoking to switch to better alternatives to cigarettes. Nico adds that despite not being able to sell their products in South Africa for almost five months, IQOS is here to stay and plans to continue expanding into further regions in the country.

PMSA is reopening its 24 IQOS retail stores and will resupply its trade partners to meet the needs of its IQOS users and those adult smokers looking for better alternatives to continued smoking. “Many of our IQOS consumers were disappointed at not being able to purchase our products during the lockdown ban. We are working to support them and win back their trust. We have implemented strict safety, social distancing and hygiene measures at our stores to protect our consumers and staff,” says Nico.

IQOS is a tobacco heating system. It heats specially designed heated tobacco units, branded HEETS, up to 350°C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke, and switching completely to IQOS significantly reduces exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals. IQOS is not risk free and contains nicotine, which is addictive.

Philip Morris International: Delivering a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, as well as smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States. In addition, PMI ships a version of its IQOS Platform 1 device and its consumables authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to Altria Group, Inc. for sale in the U.S. under license. PMI is 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. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI’s smoke-free IQOS product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of June 30, 2020, PMI estimates that approximately 11.2 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to PMI’s heat-not-burn product, available for sale in 57 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand. For more information, please visit and

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