Altria Group, declared that it is expanding its planned framework with Philip Morris International (PMI) – Makers of Marlboro, to comprise a joint research, development and technology-sharing agreement. Under the Agreement, Altria and PMI will collaborate to develop e-vapor products for commercialization in the United States by Altria and in markets outside the United States by PMI.
The Agreement also provides for exclusive technology cross licenses, technical information sharing and cooperation on scientific assessment, regulatory engagement and approval related to e-vapor products.
To complement each other, Altria and Philip Morris entered into a distribution agreement. Under the deal, Philip Morris will market Altria’s MarkTen e-cigarettes internationally and the latter will distribute two of Philip Morris’ heated tobacco products in the U.S. The heated tobacco products are claimed to be less harmful than conventional tobacco products as they heat the nicotine instead of burn it.
Altria Group, Inc., through its auxiliaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, Husky, and Marlboro Snus brand names.
In Nov 2013, Philip Morris announced that it would venture into the e-cigarette business in late 2015. Moreover, the company launched a set of ‘Next Generation Product’ (NGP) the same year, to attract adult consumers while reducing the risks related to tobacco products.