Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris whose iconic Marlboro man campaign lured millions to take up the habit from the mid fifties, has now invested in a technology that would let users inhale nicotine without smoking.
The campaign that ran from 1954 to 1999 saw Marlboro cigarettes being banned from billboards in the U.S due to health concerns.
Morris' move came as tobacco companies are looking for novel ways to develop products that would be more 'consumer acceptable'.
The aerosol nicotine-delivery system had been developed by Jed Rose, director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University.
"By avoiding the burning process altogether, finding a way of giving smokers nicotine to inhale but without those toxic substances that we can reduce the death and disease associated with smoking," the Daily Mail quoted Rose as defending his decision to sell the product to the company.
"Hopefully it's a wave of the future that inhaling combusted, burning tobacco will someday be a thing of the past," he added.