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The future is vaporous for Philip Morris in Asia

CEO Andre Calantzopoulos looks to a future beyond conventional cigarettes

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Philip Morris' IQOS heated cigarettes are winning over smokers in Japan.   © Reuters

SEOUL The growing popularity of e-cigarettes in Japan and South Korea has Philip Morris International, the world's most valuable cigarette company, considering a future in which cigarettes are stubbed out completely in the two countries within five years.

The time frame is based on projections of when users of smoke-free devices may overtake traditional smokers in those two countries. "If you extrapolate the figures, then logically, we could reach the tipping point in five years," Andre Calantzopoulos, Philip Morris' chief executive, told the Nikkei Asian Review in a recent interview in Seoul. "That is when we could start talking to governments about phasing out combustible cigarettes entirely."

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