Like Cries in the Night
For as long as we have known that smoking can be deadly for your health, there have been people wanting to quit their tobacco habit. These people, caught in the grip of nicotine addiction, struggled every day to put down their cigarettes for good. They tried all the government-approved smoking cessations and they tried to go cold turkey. Some had success while others found the challenge of giving up cigarettes too daunting and they went right back to smoking. They were desperate for help but were afraid no one was listening.
Hope Springs Anew
All seemed bleak for our intrepid, would-be quitters. Caught between their physical and psychological addiction to smoking and an ever-eager supplier, the idea of quitting tobacco for good seemed impossible. Then the exciting new world of vaping suddenly sprung into the picture. As if overnight, there was a whole new industry on the scene comprised of people who had beaten their tobacco habit with technology. They were excited to be ex-smokers, they had been down the same treacherous roads, and they were eager to show others the way. These vapor pioneers were there to guide others along their journey and arm them with knowledgeable experience and heartfelt support . The world seemed poised to kick tobacco to curb.
Then Along Came a Spider
For the longest time, Big Tobacco put the badmouth on electronic cigarettes and vaping as a whole. E-cigs were cutting into their profits, drawing customers away from their products, and was threatening to make their industry obsolete. Vaping was a healthier, less expensive alternative to tobacco use and they could feel the ground beneath their long-standing empire starting to shift. Big Tobacco had a choice. It could either use its seemingly inexhaustible resources to try and take over the vaping industry or destroy it.
Neither plan worked out very well.
Unable to force vaping out of existence through propaganda and smear campaigns, many Big Tobacco companies like Philip Morris began flooding the market with their own brands of cig-alike e-cigs. No doubt you've seen them in every gas station all across the country. Surely this would get Big Tobacco's foot in the door of this burgeoning vaping industry, right? No. By the time Big Tobacco got some skin in the game, the industry's technology had grown far beyond gas station e-cigs. New devices were popping up daily and innovation was the word of the day. Big Tobacco had to either adapt or face extinction.
A Complete 180
Philip Morris International (PMI), the maker of such colossal cigarette giants as Marlboro and Parliament, has recently come out and publicly stated that they want to stop selling tobacco altogether. Their newest PR push states that they envision a smoke-free, healthier future. PMI has even gone so far as to put their money where their mouth is by pledging $1 billion to help fight against traditional tobacco cigarette use. Quite a huge turnaround for a company who once badmouthed smoking cessation products like vaping while peddling a product that kills 480,000 Americans per year.
The hand that once struck now says it's reaching out to heal.
One Step Forward...
If you think for one minute Philip Morris is spearheading this new anti-tobacco direction as some kind of altruistic crusade, I invite you to look at the company's history and think again. They are a business and the purpose of any business is to make money. Their latest foray into the world of smoking cessation as a cash cow is the IQOS. Rather than a vapor-style e-cig (their biggest competition), the IQOS still uses tobacco. That's right, the company who has recently been shouting from the rooftops that they want to get away from selling tobacco has come out with a new product that uses...wait for it...TOBACCO! Unlike a traditional cigarette, the IQOS warms the tobacco. PMI claims that this is safer than traditional cigarettes because the carcinogens produced by combustion are not present. Per the Philip Morris International website, a heated tobacco plug, made up of ground up and re-constituted tobacco, is inserted into a holder. Once inserted, the tobacco is heated, not burned, via an electronically controlled heating blade. The holder supplies heat to the tobacco for six minutes or 14 puffs, whichever comes first. Afterwards, the small battery in the holder needs to be recharged.
...Two Steps Back
I don't know about you folks but this doesn't sound like innovation to me. If I had to refill and recharge my vape after every time I used it, I'd throw it in the trash and get a better vape. Once again PMI seems to have come up with something new that is actually a step backwards from what is already on the market. This smacks of a dying company's last gasp to try and stay relevant. For years these bastards have made fortunes by addicting the masses to their poison and now they want to make even greater fortunes by trying to play the hero.
Nice try, Philip Morris. In one breath you say you want to completely get away from selling tobacco and in the next breath you're inventing a new product that uses it. You're talking out both sides of your mouth and we just ain't buying it.