Philip Morris International (PM), the maker of Marlboro and other brands, has said that is will phase out cigarettes in favor of smoke-free products.
The company has spent £3.5 billion (approximately $4 billion USD) on science and technology to prove its commitment and has racked up more than 3,000 patents, with another 5,000 patents pending, as part of its smoke-free effort, Yahoo Finance reported.
Philip Morris is undergoing much of its development at a Swiss research centre, where scientists are working diligently to monitor the impact of chemicals on human lungs and airways, Sky News reported.
On the research table is the IQOS, an electric device that is used to heat tobacco versus burn it. This is designed to lower the level of 15 noxious chemicals found in cigarette smoke by as much as 95 percent because of the cooler temperature it burns at, according to research by the company.
Despite the research underway, smoke-less products like the IQOS will not mean a reduced risk of smoking-related diseases, but it does suggest that less damage to the body, according to blood tests that have been done by the company, Yahoo Finance reported.
The process of heating the nicotine liquid lowers the levels of toxic compounds by using an aerosol, which many medical authorities have not quite accepted yet. According to Public Health England, there is not enough independent research evidence to recommend the smoke-less products to smokers.
The move toward smoke-less tobacco products for Philip Morris may provide a market shift for the company as more people make the transition away from smoking. Many are quitting or moving to vaping, Yahoo Finance reported.
Philip Morris said it will develop cheaper versions of the smoke-free tobacco products for every market.
As of this afternoon, Philip Morris stock was up almost 2 percent.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.