Altria (MO +1.1%) is launching its iQOS product in the U.S. with an initial introduction at about 500 stores in the Atlanta area. The company has the rights to sell the product under a licensing agreement with Philip Morris International (PM +1.1%).
Altria hasn't stated when iQOS will be rolled out across the U.S.
The iQOS device, which heats tobacco but doesn't burn it, hits the U.S. market with vaping companies like Juul Labs (JUUL) under increasing regulatory scrutiny.
"It’s perfect timing," notes Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery. "I don’t think they would have expected some consumer uncertainty around vapor coinciding with the launch of Iqos in the U.S.," he adds.
Subscribe for full text news in your inbox