LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE: PM) announced today that the factory of its Greek affiliate (Papastratos) in Aspropyrgos, has ceased cigarette production and is now exclusively producing HEETS, the tobacco units used with IQOS, the company’s most advanced smoke-free product. This first full conversion of a cigarette factory is a landmark step in our vision of a smoke-free future where people who smoke switch from the most harmful form of nicotine consumption – cigarettes – to scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives.
The EUR 300 million investment included the construction of three new buildings and the replacement of cigarette production lines with high-tech facilities capable of producing 10,000 smoke-free tobacco units per minute. The conversion of the factory started in August 2017. The facility is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018 and will create 400 new jobs.
André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer said: “This is a historic day for our company. Papastratos is the first of our factories to end cigarette production and fully shift to manufacturing our smoke-free alternatives.” He added: “We will continue to convert existing sites and invest in new facilities to answer global adult smoker demand for better alternatives to cigarettes. We made a commitment to provide all people who would otherwise continue smoking with potentially less harmful products. The momentum around this revolutionary change for the benefit of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers, public health and society at large is growing, and we will continue working towards a smoke-free future.”
Along with our plant near Bologna, Italy, Papastratos is our company’s second facility fully dedicated to manufacturing smoke-free products. We have also announced plans to either fully or partially transform our cigarette factories in Korea, Romania and Russia.
Since 2008, we have invested more than USD 4.5 billion in scientific research, product and commercial development, and production capacity related to IQOS and other smoke-free products. In 2017, over 70% of our global R&D expenditure and over 30% of our global commercial expenditure was allocated to smoke-free products.
We estimate that at the end of January 2018, nearly 5 million adult consumers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to IQOS. Our ambition is that all those who would otherwise continue smoking abandon cigarettes and switch completely to scientifically substantiated smoke-free products as soon as possible. Appropriate regulatory policies and decisions can substantially accelerate the speed and magnitude of this historic change.
Philip Morris International: Who We Are
We are a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States of America. We’re building our future on smoke-free products that are a much better consumer choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, we aim to ensure that our smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. Our vision is that these products ultimately replace cigarettes to the benefit of adult smokers, society, our company and our shareholders. For more information, see our PMI and PMIScience websites.