Tobacco giant Philip Morris is developing a smokeless cigarette system in the UK amid growing concern about the effects of passive smoking.
Known as the “electronically heated smoking system”, the device works by only heating tobacco when the smoker inhales. Cigarettes are placed inside a special lighter that is activated when the smoker breathes in. A spokeswoman for the company says that the result is a system that produces no ash, side smoke and very little odour, although it makes no health claims.
The owner of the Marlboro brand tested the product on a voluntary adult focus group earlier this year.
“The product was tested in the UK to assess consumer reaction and for research purposes,” says Philip Morris UK corporate affairs manager Chris Mohrmann.
She says that the smoking system is also undergoing test marketing in the US, where it is being sold under the Accord brand, and in Japan where it sold as Oasis.
Mohrmann adds that the findings of the UK trial have yet to be analysed and that the company does not comment on future plans for its products.