Altria, Philip Morris Int'l partnering on products

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The makers of Marlboro cigarettes sold in the U.S. and those sold overseas are sharing their technology for electronic cigarettes and other new tobacco products.

Altria Group Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. said Friday that they've entered into agreements related to marketing alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

Altria will provide Philip Morris with a license to sell its electronic cigarette products internationally.

In turn, Philip Morris will provide Altria with two of its reduced-risk products that heat tobacco instead of burning it.

Tobacco companies have made a push to diversify beyond the declining traditional cigarette business.

Altria, based in Richmond, Va., owns the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA. It spun off Philip Morris International, the world's second-biggest cigarette seller, as a separate company in 2008.