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Tobacco giant eyes Alabama smoke-free alternative market

Philip Morris International is expanding plans as it shifts to smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes.

The company is separate from Philip Morris USA and has not operated in the United States.

PMI is likely drawn to Alabama because of the high rate of purchase for nicotine products, including its ownership of Swedish Match.

As part of its expansion, PMI announced the hiring of executives with varied business backgrounds, including Auburn alum Jake Jacobs, previously director of government relations for Aventiv Technologies. He will be regional director external affairs for the Southeast region.

Jacobs worked with Voices for Alabama’s Children from 2018-20 and was a public affairs specialist for former Gov. Robert Bentley from 2014-17.

The new employees will be based in Washington under Kristin Reif, the head of PMI’s government affairs office.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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