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Philip Morris Incentive

The tobacco giant Philip Morris is to subsidise cheaper life insurance policies to incentivise smokers to switch to vaping

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Philip Morris, the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the world, is putting money towards reducing the cost of life insurance for smokers who switch to vaping. It has underwritten the start-up of Reviti – but offering financial incentives is not a new strategy for the company.

Reviti has been launched to offer special life insurance deals to smokers who are able to quit tobacco, and the deals get better if you use a Philip Morris – and better still if the smoker manages to remain tobacco-free for an entire year.

Philip Morris believes that the future is in reduced harm products and, despite making one hundred and thirty different brands of cigarettes, is fully behind this new activity.

Reviti offers to reduce the cost of life insurance policies by 2.5% for anybody switching from smoking to vaping. This discount is boosted to 25% if people use the Philip Morris IQOS heat-not-burn (HNB) device and remain smoke-free for three months. Anybody managing to quit for at least 12 months will then enjoy half-price policies.

Reviti chief executive Dan Pender said: “Philip Morris doesn’t want to sell cigarettes in the way it used to. It believes that cigarettes are bad for you. It is looking to diversify. Philip Morris wants people to give up smoking. One of the biggest choices that has a detrimental effect on health is the decision to smoke, which is why we want to help people quit.”

New policyholders will be able to use a free smartphone app to help them manage the transition and free advice & support from all branches of Lloyds Pharmacies. The smartphone app will also offer customers help with nutrition, exercise and mental health.

Reviti say: “Most insurance providers want you to be perfect to get their best rates. But really, who’s perfect? At reviti, we believe everyone is a work in progress, able to improve our lifestyle choices to improve our chance of a better life.”

“So we decided to change things up. To rethink life insurance. As well as great discounts, we’re committed to giving customers access to the expertise and support they need to maintain good habits and kick the bad. And when you make a positive change we’ll give you discounts to lower your life insurance premiums and other great rewards. It's life insurance for people who love life.”

This is not the first time that Philip Morris have offered financial incentives to people to stop using their cigarettes. In 2017, the company announced that it was going to pay £50 to “freelancers” to help people quit smoking.

At the time, UK chief executive Peter Nixon said: “We are absolutely serious – one day, we want to stop selling cigarettes. The company has committed to bringing about a smoke-free world that it has decided to pay brand ambassadors, termed ‘freelancers’, to persuade people to quit smoking. Freelancers take them through a seven-day programme, like a coach. Each day the freelancer helps them through this change.”

The scheme ran into problems as freelancers were caught on camera promoting IQOS in London bars.

Some will take issue with Philip Morris describing IQOS as a vape device as it uses tobacco ‘HEETS’, but many recent research papers point to HNB devices offering reduced exposure to tobacco-related harm.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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