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Philip Morris International's (PM.N) $16 billion bid for smaller rival Swedish Match highlights the urgency among cigarette makers to tap new and potentially less harmful alternatives as regulation and health concerns snuff out traditional smokes.

Marlboro maker Philip Morris agreed on Wednesday to buy Swedish Match, one of the world's biggest makers of oral nicotine products. These include Snus - a sucked tobacco product the firm says is less harmful than smoking - as well as Zyn nicotine pouches, which are used the same way and tobacco-free.