Philip Morris has announced that they are aiming for a smoke-free future, following the UK release of their new ‘nicotine stick’, the iQos.

The product, which heats tobacco instead of burning it, is significantly safer than regular cigarettes. And – since it cuts down the intake of nasty toxins by 90 per cent – it could  provide a viable future for the ‘nicotine delivery’ business when the traditional, carcinogenic method is being regulated and suppressed around the globe.

Indeed, the CEO of Philip Morris, André Calantzopoulos, predicts a ‘phase-out period’ as traditional cigarettes give way to products such as IQos – adding that clinical trials, not yet externally verified, have found the new product was as effective at stopping smoking as going ‘cold turkey’.

This could re-frame the whole smoking debate – and Gloria de Piero MP has already tweeted that we should be ‘happy’ about the development. However, anti-smoking campaigners have been less welcoming of the news, casting doubt on the company’s intentions and data. The onus now falls on Phillip Morris to avoid smoke and mirrors.

The announcement of the product is certainly a step forward, following on from the widespread acceptance of e-cigarettes and the reduction of smoking that has come from their usage.