Philip Morris International is planning to launch IQOS in India, according to a story by Aditya Kalra for Reuters citing ‘four sources familiar with the matter’.

A government source was quoted as saying the government would keep an open mind if PMI approached it to discuss a device that helped people quit smoking, but added that such devices, including electronic cigarettes, could be banned if found to be harmful.

A PM spokesman was quoted as saying that the company did not comment on its plans, but that it was committed to working to replace cigarettes with scientifically-substantiated smoke-free products.

But Reuters said that the company seemed to have started building a public case for IQOS in India.

On World No Tobacco Day, R. Venkatesh, PM’s top corporate affairs executive in India, wrote a column for India’s Economic Times newspaper calling for ‘effective regulations’ for alternative smoking devices.

‘With alternatives to cigarettes available and countries already delivering on their smoke-free ambitions, the incentive is there for lawmakers to support Indian smokers – who deserve a better option,’ Venkatesh wrote.

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