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Philip Morris Int'l to enter e-cigarette market

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MICHAEL FELBERBAUM | November 20, 2013 12:36 PM EST | AP


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Philip Morris International says it plans to enter the growing electronic cigarette business late next year.

The seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands overseas also said Wednesday that it also plans to accelerate the launch of its reduced-risk products with pilot testing next year. The first launch of one of its next-generation products, which heats tobacco instead of burning it, is planned for 2015.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale.

The category has grown from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide. Many tobacco companies have entered the market to diversify beyond the declining traditional cigarette business.

Company executives in July had dismissed electronic cigarettes, saying they aren't a product that's very close to a traditional cigarette.