Philip Morris International, the cigarette empire behind Marlboro brand, is inventing new methods to make money in a speedily changing market.
The company has put $2bn (£1.4bn) into analysis and improvement since 2008 and its most recent idea is creating safer cigarettes that still taste like the real thing.
This isn't for solely disinterested motives. Smoking people in the West are more and more stubbing out their cigs for good off the back of bans on smoking and warning labels, hitting tobacco sales hard. The firm's third quarter revenue demonstrated earnings down 9% to $19.4bn, and cigarette deliveries down 1.5%.
UK managing director Martin Inkster is opening ground, future-proofing the business with reduced risk goods. "They have to be eye-catching to cigarette smokers, so they'll be ready to switch," described the Australian, who's been in the London role for several years.
At Philip Morris' study lab in Neuchatel, Switzerland, 400 experts are operating to bring reduced risk cigarettes to market. The company's aim is to have 10-15% of its sales come from this portfolio within ten years, and Inkster is incredibly honest that this is a priority, even if it means selling fewer regular cigarettes.
Cigarette companies are significantly dependent on emerging markets, where smoking rates are still increasing. But worldwide numbers are holding on and in developed nations, the number of smokers is in decline. Adult smokers in the UK have decreased by a third since 2000. This has a huge influence on Philip Morris, the world's greatest cigarette company, with over 20% of the global market.
As probably safer cigarettes near the market, Inkster expects that the EU will develop a distinct regulatory framework comparable to what already exists via the FDA in the US. The potential to market these products to the public depends upon it.