The official welcome of IQOS to Bulgaria was announced by Philip Morris Bulgaria on 29th November under the heading “Smoke-free future”.
The special event held in Paradise Center where the first specialized IQOS store is located was attended by more than 500 guests – representatives of government institutions, businesses, media and a number of celebrities.
Bulgaria is the 31st country in which Philip Morris International embarks on the biggest change in tobacco industry towards a smoke-free future – a future in which the new breakthrough smoke-free alternatives will replace cigarettes.
In addition to the impressive setup, performances and audio-visual effects the guests had an opportunity to get acquainted with the innovative heat-not-burn concept IQOS in live and interactive demonstrations of the scientific data and features of the product that aim to reduce the harm caused by tobacco. They could witness the difference between IQOS use and the traditional smoking shown with a special laboratory equipment that visualizes the absence of combustion, hence of tar.
More than 10 years of scientific research conducted in compliance with international ISO standards by more than 400 biochemists, engineers, toxicologists, pharmacologists and many other experts working in the 2 R&D centers of the company in Switzerland and Singapore stand behind the design of IQOS. Since 2008 the company has invested more than 3 billion dollars in research and development. The new technology was created in Switzerland and 60 startup companies partnered with Philip Morris for this purpose. IQOS and the smoke-free products contain innovative components for which more than 3000 patents have been issued and another 4000 patent applications have been filed making Philip Morris the only tobacco company in the top 100 patent filers with European Patent Office.
“We are committed to the cause of our company for designing a smoke – free future and to our mission to convince more and more adult consumers to switch to smoke – free alternatives”, stated George Margonis, General Manager of Philip Morris Bulgaria, in his welcoming speech. He added that the company has all confidence in pursuing its goals as for the last 3 years more than 3.7 million men and women in the world have stopped smoking and have chosen to switch to IQOS. “The transformation to a smoke – free future is a breakthrough in the tobacco industry and the most profound change in the 170-year history of Philip Morris International”, said Margonis and expressed his confidence that Bulgaria would soon become part of a better future.
“Our mission to design a smoke – free future makes a lot of sense because harm reduction is a good cause, and this is exactly what society expects from us”, shared Virginia Djevelekova, Corporate Affairs Manager, and added “…yet, it will be successful only if all stakeholders in society, including the regulators, businesses community, media and the adult consumers, join efforts to achieve it.”
*IQOS is a high-tech system for precise maintenance and control of temperature up to 350 degrees, which is optimal for the heating of tobacco without reaching the burning temperature of 800 degrees. The special tobacco sticks containing uniquely processed high-quality tobacco blend are specially developed to be used only with IQOS and when tobacco is heated vapor is release containing real tobacco flavor and nicotine. Unlike cigarettes, since there is no combustion when tobacco sticks are used with IQOS, there is no smoke, ash or tar and much less smell.