Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has made a strategic investment in Ploom, Inc, a young San Francisco-based technology and design company that has developed an innovative tobacco product. Under the exclusive long-term cooperation agreement, JTI will commercialise Ploom’s new generation smoking alternative products in all countries outside of the US.
Founded in 2007, Ploom designs and develops pocket-sized smoking devices that heat tobacco contained in pods to a constant temperature, vaporising nicotine and flavour without burning the materials or producing smoke. Ploom was originally developed by Adam Bowen and James Monsees while graduate students at Stanford University.
THE FUTURE OF TOBACCO
Launched on the US market in 2010, the product heats, not burns, tobacco leaf to produce a vapour that is inhaled, offering consumers a new smoking experience. The product uses colour-coded aluminium pods that contain real tobacco, offering taste and quality in a range of flavours.
“Anticipating consumers’ expectations is what JTI does best,” says Frits Vranken, Senior Vice-President for Business Development at JTI. “We are convinced that products sold under this agreement will be received with enthusiasm by smokers seeking an alternative to cigarettes and conventional tobacco products.” He adds, “Our ability to innovate and market new products is an essential part of our future success, which depends on continuing to exceed the expectations of our consumers.”
“Ploom has a unique product, in-house engineering and excellent technical and design capabilities,” says James Monsees, Chief Executive Officer of Ploom. “We are very pleased to partner with JTI as its deep expertise, global distribution networks and capital resources will enable us to enter our next phase of growth and capitalise on global expansion opportunities.”
JTI is the international tobacco business of its parent, Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT), a leading international tobacco company with products sold in 120 countries. Ploom management will remain in place and continue to operate Ploom as a separate company.