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Reviti Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Philip Morris International (PMI), incorporated 5 July 2018, sells life insurance in the UK, with plans to expand into other markets.1 Incentivising smokers to switch to PMI’s heated tobacco product IQOS, Reviti generated media attention.1 2 The advertised discounts on Reviti’s premiums average 50% for smokers who quit tobacco and nicotine altogether for over a year, 25% for smokers who switch to IQOS for >3 months, and 2.5% for those who use e-cigarettes. The relative discounts on premiums imply that switching to IQOS is 10 times healthier than using e-cigarettes. Further, Reviti offers the e-cigarette discount only at policy inception, with no switching incentive; and notably omits a discount for nicotine replacement therapies. Reviti’s website claims IQOS is the only available ‘science-backed smoke-free alternative’ (figure 1). Unacknowledged is that the evidence for IQOS derives exclusively from PMI-funded research, and that the company’s human studies fail to show consistently lower levels of some toxins for IQOS relative to conventional cigarettes.3 4
IQOS is sold in >40 countries and banned in Australia, Hong Kong, …
Contributors JJP came up with the idea of featuring this industry development in an Industry Watch for submission to Tobacco Control, wrote the initial draft and made multiple revisions. LH provided edits and feedback on multiple collaborative versions until the work was finalised.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests JJP has provided consultation to pharmaceutical and technology companies that make medications and other treatments for quitting smoking and has served as an expert witness in lawsuits against the tobacco companies. LH has no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.