By Ritsuko Shimizu TOKYO (Reuters) - Marlboro maker Philip Morris International says its e-cigarette has rapidly captured close to 3 percent of Japanese tobacco sales, making inroads into a market Japan Tobacco (JT) <2914.T> relies on for 40 percent of its profit. In what may be an early vindication of Philip Morris's e-cigarette strategy, the iQOS accounted for 2.2 percent of Japan's tobacco sales in the quarter ended June 30, a company spokesman said. That share had climbed to 2.7 percent by the end of June after Philip Morris rolled out the 9,980 yen ($98.53) electronic smoker in late April accompanied by "HeatSticks", which cost the same as regular cigarettes. "The figures clearly show that iQOS is stealing a chunk of the rolled tobacco market," said Masashi Mori, analyst at Credit Suisse Securities in Tokyo. Japan's overall cigarette sales in June shrank 5.2 percent. On Friday, JT said revenue from July cigarettes sales in Japan dipped by 3.4 percent to 53.4 billion yen. Unlike conventional e-cigarettes that vaporize a nicotine infused liquid, iQOS produces a smokeless aerosol by heating tobacco leaf packed into stubby cigarettes inserted into the device. So far it has tested the gadget in seven countries including cities in Switzerland and Italy. Japan, which has suppressed e-cigarette "vaping" by regulating nicotine liquids under pharmaceutical laws, is the only country where it is sold nationwide. Demand for iQOS, which is made in Malaysia, has outstripped demand, leaving Philip Morris unable to make the most of its early entry into Japan. Some limited-edition IQOS models are selling online for as much as 80,000 yen. "When Philip Morris can supply enough to meet demand then its push in to the market is very likely to accelerate," UBS Securities Japan analyst Naomi Takagi said. E-cigarettes assuage some smokers' health concerns and ease social stigmas attached to tobacco. Tobacco firms are battling to take an early lead in the emerging market as overall cigarette sales shrink globally. Sales of e-cigarettes, however, are booming, growing five times to $8 billion in 2014 from 2010, according to research company Euromonitor. The market in 2020 is likely to be 20 times the 2010 level, predicts Euromonitor. Global cigarette revenue is about $750 billion. Philip Morris plans to widen sales of iQOS to 20 countries by the end of the year. Former state tobacco monopoly Japan Tobacco, which has 60 percent of its domestic market, is struggling to counter the challenge with its own device. JT's electronic cigarette stick, dubbed the Ploom TECH, creates a vapor from a liquid that is passed through granulated tobacco. Yet the world's No. 3 cigarette maker has so far been unable to match iQOS's nationwide launch, with no clear indication yet when it will have sufficient production output to do so. "It doubtful JT will manage a wider launch before the end of the year," Takagi at UBS Securities said. ($1 = 101.2900 yen) (Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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- NBC News
Following a call Wednesday between the two leaders — the first since the diplomatic spat erupted last week — it was also announced that the French ambassador would return to Washington.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share with the world to 1 billion doses as he embraces the goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population within the next year. The stepped-up U.S. commitment marks the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit Biden convened virtually on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, where he encouraged well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control. It comes as world leaders, aid groups and global health organizations have growing increasingly vocal about the slow pace of global vaccinations and the inequity of access to shots between residents of wealthier and poorer nations.
The MSNBC host signed off with one heck of a zinger.
Neighbors say they saw Brian Laundrie and his parents leave their Florida home with an attached camper after he returned from his trip with Gabby Petito
Authorities are still searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since last Tuesday and is a person of interest in Petito's death.
The “deeply unintelligent” family member will “out-racism anybody, out-misogyny anybody” just for affection, said Donald Trump’s niece.
- E! News
Authorities confirmed they found the remains of YouTuber Gabrielle Petito, who was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11. Read the FBI's statement here.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99.
- Miami Herald
Camila Cabello looked like she was starring in a music video for the updated version of an old ’60s song the other day.
- Business Insider
"What voter ID laws are racist?" Cruz asked. "Apologies Mr. Cruz, your state of Texas, perhaps," the legal scholar replied.
The friends even pretended to make out with an apple in one of the sensual campaign photos
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Sixers have reportedly talked with at least six teams around the league about a Ben Simmons trade - could this be the best offer available? By Adam Hermann
- Yahoo Life
Ireland Baldwin poses in bikini and shares message about self-love: ‘Embracing my cellulite, stretch marks, curves’
The 25-year-old model has a real body and she is not apologizing for it!
People couldn't believe the Georgia Republican's cartoon statement on the House floor wasn't a parody.
Lourdes Leon teased her debut appearance in the third Savage X Fenty show, premiering Sept. 24 on Amazon Prime
- Washington Examiner
Attorney General William Barr braced himself in the face of unprecedented fury displayed by President Donald Trump when he was told special counsel John Durham would likely not finish the criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation until sometime during the incoming Biden administration, according to a new book.
- In The Know by Yahoo
The anxious pup's reaction was totally relatable.
- Associated Press
A Republican official in Arizona resigned Tuesday from the board overseeing Maricopa County after a recording emerged of him criticizing his GOP colleagues for opposing a review of the 2020 election. During the meeting recorded surreptitiously last March, Supervisor Steve Chucri suggested two fellow Republican county supervisors opposed the review by Senate Republicans because they nearly lost their own 2020 races. “The fixation with the 2020 election results and aftermath have gotten out of control.”
John Walsh, the former host of 'America's Most Wanted,' questions if anyone actually saw Brian Laundrie in his home when his attorney said he was there
Brian Laundrie is considered a person of interest and has not been charged with any crime in the disappearance of Gabby Petito.
- Good Morning America
A mom who is in the final stage in herfight against ovarian cancer is sharing the details of her "gritty story" to help educate and inform women. Dr. Nadia Chaudhri, a 44-year-old neuroscientist and professor from Montreal, Canada, has been battling Stage 3 ovarian cancer for the past year, undergoing a hysterectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. In May, Chaudhri, the mom of a 6-year-old son, was hospitalized again and learned the cancer had returned, forcing her to tell her son that her cancer was now terminal.
Twitter users pluck the feathers out of Mike Lindell over his latest wild claim.