Philip Morris International (PMI) is to open an IQOS flagship store in Johannesburg, South Africa – with a welcome from the local e-cig industry.

The new store, opening in 2019, is part of PMI’s approach to encourage smokers to switch to smoke-free products. Since launching IQOS in South Africa in April 2017, PMI has been selling the heated-tobacco system through South African tobacco retailers.

“We are seeing that adult smokers in South Africa are adopting IQOS at high conversion rates – over 80% of those who try the product make a complete switch out of cigarettes,” Rupini Bergstrom, head of communications at Philip Morris South Africa, told ECigIntelligence.

With up to 7m adult smokers in South Africa, Bergstrom said, the company had seen potential to make a real impact. She said Africa would be a “key part” of PMI’s aim to get 40m smokers globally into smoke-free products by 2025.


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