NEUCHATEL, Switzerland - Deep inside a futuristic research center on the edge of a lake at the foot of the mountain, automated worm machines examine the future of nicotine.
Scientists at Philip Morris International are experimenting with different ways of managing nicotine that are less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes, but still satisfy the pleasure of smoking. Smoke carousels, filled with cigarettes lighted or incandescent electronic devices, are among the dozens of high-tech instruments that are used in this center.
Trouble by Philip Morris and other companies to develop new ways to sell nicotine is occurring as more consumers are trying to switch to electronic cigarettes, devices that heat a fluid containing nicotine to Create a vapor that users inhale. While only a small percentage of smokers have switched to devices - experts say that older electronic cigarettes do not deliver enough nicotine to satisfy a smoker's cravings - that's why major tobacco companies are deploying their resources Financial and knowledge with the aim of dominating a potentially huge market for this cigarette alternative.
In recent months, several tobacco companies have increased nicotine levels in their brands of electronic cigarettes, while others, such as Philip Morris International, are beginning to introduce thin tube-shaped devices that will give Users as much nicotine as possible by heating, not burning tobacco. A few months ago, another cigarette maker, British American Tobacco, got approval from British drug regulators to launch an inhaled nicotine spray.