Wonderful New Smoke Free World | Lucerne newspaper 2

Wonderful New Smoke Free World | Lucerne newspaper

Profits in the cigarette business have been sinking for years, as has the number of smokers. But tobacco sales for multinational products continue to blossom – thanks to supposedly groundbreaking alternative products and tricky marketing.

Gregory Remez

Gregory Remez, Economics Editor

Gregory Remez, Economics Editor

"Free your world" – free your world from cigarette smoke: This is the message that the tobacco company Philip Morris is currently promoting in the worldwide campaign. If you don't smoke, you shouldn't even start with this, and anyone who has already succumbed to the smoke should quit, it continues. In the face of such advice, the times in which cigarettes are usually considered a modern addition to those arrested – and marketed by the tobacco industry – seem forgotten.

He obviously snapped. Not only in bars and restaurants, but increasingly in those parts of the public where there is still a buzz. For years, the number of smokers in Switzerland has been decreasing, currently just under 25 percent.

Measures to prevent and prohibit advertising appear to be fruitful. Cigarettes are out. Or when was the last time you saw a Marlboro man rocking his hair?

All those who are now marvelously rubbing their eyes and wondering why the tobacco giant, of all people, is taking millions of advertising frigates to fight its own products, find the answer in the final and decisive passage of the campaign "unobstructed," There it says: "Who doesn't stop. needs to change. "

Jump? Okay. But where to go? Although the answer is a deliberately minimalist advertisement, those who have not spent the last two years on a desert island or a nicotine withdrawal clinic know what they are talking about; or at least heard of products that the tobacco industry is trying to offset by the diminishing profits from the cigarette business. In addition to the e-cigarette, which has recently fallen into disagreement over the apparent accumulation of fatalities, these include, first of all, the so-called "not burning" products; In them, the tobacco no longer burns like a cigarette, but warms itself, which supposedly releases less pollutants.

Programmatically, Philip Morris christened his "Iqos" tobacco heater, an acronym for "I Quit Smoking," in English: I quit normal smoking. Iqos is no longer "smoked" but "consumed". The Lausanne-based group has spent a whopping six billion francs on developing a device that should make a cigarette look like a pre-technological relic.

In any case, new cigarette substitutes – from Iqos to Juul – are much more likely to revolve around the sterile aesthetics of tech gadgets than the dusty root of classic glossy sticks. Obviously, corporations have put a lot of effort into giving smokers a new, contemporary image. This fits into the argument that alternatives are healthier. It's not without reason that the recently launched Juul, Silicon Valley, had to justify selling its e-cigarettes to primarily technically capable teens.

Because one thing is clear: "Mixing" evokes the end of a cigarette. However, in this wonderful new smoking-free world, tobacco business should continue to boil. And so corporations are forced into creative solutions.

Juul's internal sources say the company plans to offer nicotine-free e-cigarette blends in the future. Not only would the so-called vaping release the stigma of addiction, it would also expand the circle of potential customers in one go. All of a sudden, a whole new market will emerge.

Even giant Philip Morris, whose strategy to combat cigarettes currently offends many competitors, has ambitious plans for alternative products. As early as 2022, Iqos products should account for one third of the Swiss tobacco market; currently one is still in the low single-digit percentage range.

In the meantime, you can see it in cities like Moscow, where the spread of e-cigarettes and fuel-less products is much more advanced than ours. Although cigarette smoking in public places is now almost completely banned and even with the contemptuous appearance recognized in certain places, products like Iqos or Juul are not only accepted everywhere, but also considered the forerunners of a better smoke-free lifestyle.