Philip Morris International plans to invest approximately $320 million in a new high-tech facility in Dresden, Germany, to produce “Heets,” the tobacco units to be used with the electronic tobacco heating device IQOS.
Construction of the 80,000 square meter facility is scheduled to begin in late 2017. Once fully operational in early 2019, the factory is expected to employ about 500 people.
IQOS and Heets have been available for adult smokers in Germany since June 2016, starting with pilot commercialization in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin. IQOS is currently available in key cities in more than 25 markets around the world.
“This investment represents another step towards a future in which smoke-free products replace cigarettes,” said André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s CEO. “Already, over two million people have given up smoking and switched to IQOS, and we know this is just the beginning. We are fully committed to meet smoker demand for potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.”
“We are encouraged by the successful launch of IQOS in Germany and its performance in other European countries,” said Frederic de Wilde, president of PMI’s European Union region. “Europe has become a hub for PMI’s research, development and investment in better alternatives to cigarettes.”
With this announcement, Germany will join a growing list of countries where PMI manufactures tobacco units for IQOS, including Italy and Switzerland. In addition, PMI recently announced the conversion of the cigarette manufacturing facility of its affiliate in Greece. By the end of 2018, PMI plans to have a total annual installed capacity of heated tobacco units of approximately 100 billion units.
IQOS is one of four smoke-free product platforms that PMI is developing to address adult smoker demand for better alternatives to cigarettes.
Since 2008, PMI has hired more than 400 scientists and experts and invested over $3 billion in research, product development and scientific substantiation for smoke-free products. The company shares its scientific methodologies and findings for independent third-party review and verification, and has published its research in more than 200 articles and book chapters since 2011.