A US Patent was, earlier this month, given to Phillip Morris International for an “Electrically Heated Smoking System”. This is basically going to be an e cig that burns tobacco rather than heating liquid. Data can then be transferred to and from the device.
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The data transfer has been around for a while now in e cigarettes (Joyetech eMode – Smokio Bluetooth) that work alongside apps to gauge vaping habits so nothing new there, in fact there is nothing really new about any of the design that I can see.
Maybe just the tobacco refill cartridges but dry herb burners/atomisers are certainly not a new addition to the market.
What about some of the other uses planned for the device (section 9)
- Pay as you smoke – User can buy smoking time credits for daily, weekly or monthly usage.
- Pre Load the device with credit
- Offers controlled amount of smoke time while monitoring smoking behaviour
- Device can automatically pre-order ‘smoking articles’ via monitoring usage
- The device could include additional functionality such as MP3 players and sat nav
The patent device seems to closely match the companies soon to be released electronic tobacco product, iQos.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June:
The tobacco-based system does a better job, the company has said, and it’s betting big on it. Earlier this year, Philip Morris announced it would invest up to €500 million ($680 million) in its first factory made especially for these kind of next-generation products, capable of pumping out 30 billion units a year by 2016. As we reported in March:
These kind of bets are particularly worth watching in the tobacco industry, whose core product is in long-term decline. Cigarettes kill their users by the millions and have turned their makers into corporate pariahs. In the long run, coming up with something new to sell is a matter of existential importance.
So when PMI’s Chief Executive André Calantzopoulos recently told investors that reduced-risk products are “our greatest growth opportunity in the years to come, which we believe has the very real potential to transform the industry,” he’s talking about a transformation from decline to growth.
PMI’s global sales volumes fell 5.1% in 2013, and sustained public health campaigns, combined with heavy taxes and marketing restrictions, means cigarette sales are unlikely to begin growing again in developed markets. If tobacco companies want to stay in business for the long term, it won’t be through cigarettes alone.
So what do you think? Will the IQOS electric tobacco heating system keep people using tobacco?