Here's Why the Worst Might Be Yet to Come for Philip Morris International

Global tobacco giant Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) has found surprising success with its iQOS heated-tobacco product. What's come as an even greater surprise is the extent to which the company has embraced the concept of reduced-risk products.

Philip Morris has explicitly said that it sees a world where its traditional cigarettes no longer exist, and it has moved aggressively to roll out the iQOS platform in test markets like Japan. Now, though, competitor British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT:BTI) is looking to make its competing heated-tobacco product, glo, available in the island nation. That's setting BAT and Philip Morris up for a battle royal that could say a lot about the staying power of iQOS and its first-mover advantage. What BAT is doing

British American Tobacco has made aggressive moves to further the worldwide commercialization of its glo product. In Japan, BAT is currently available in limited test markets, but the company has said that it intends to expand its offerings to the Osaka market in early July, and also in areas close to Tokyo. With the desire to open flagship stores in Tokyo and Osaka promoting the product, BAT is looking for a nationwide launch by the end of 2017.

In addition, earlier this month, the company launched the product in Canada, where it has the slightly different name, i-glo. The initial focus was on the Vancouver market, but BAT intends to move eastward into other provinces in the months to come. Plans to expand into the South Korean market later this summer will also involve a head-to-head battle with iQOS, which Philip Morris also intends to release there in the near future.
Go to top