Apparently, people aren’t that interested in sucking the tobacco out of Phillip Morris’s new iQos offering. The cigarette giant had hoped the smoke-free product would help propel it into a new era, but as Bloomberg reports, after it spent $4.5 billion on development, customers just aren’t buying it. Shares in the cigarette company have fallen as much as 18% after its latest earnings report, in what may be the company’s worst day since it spun off from Altria in 2008.
At the beginning of this year, Philip Morris announced it was going to give up cigarettes by selling other addictive, yet possibly less cancer-causing products. To that end, it introduced the iQos into 38 markets, hoping customers in Japan would jump at the chance to use a vape pen that vaguely looks like an Apple product. But customers weren’t interested.
It wasn’t just Philip Morris that suffered a decline: Shares in Altria, the company behind Parliaments, Marlboros, and Virginia Slims, slid nearly 8%, and British American Tobacco shares fell nearly 6%.