KUALA LUMPUR 9 July - Philip Morris International Inc.’s IQOS can now be marketed while claiming the product is less harmful than cigarettes, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed.
FDA on Tuesday stated that IQOS can reduce consumer’s exposure to chemicals found in conventional cigarettes.
The alternative of conventional cigarettes or e-cigarettes cannot claim that their products reduce harm unless evidently allowed by FDA.
Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller in a statement noted, IQOS heats tobacco rather than burning it where seen to be less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
Zeller said, there is also available evidence indicating IQOS’ production of harmful chemicals is lower than conventional cigarettes.
“Data submitted by the company shows that marketing these particular products with the authorized information could help addicted adult smokers transition away from combusted cigarettes and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, but only if they completely switch,” said Zeller.
The FDA last year allowed the electronic device that uses a tobacco plug, to be sold in the U.S. while it reviewed Philip Morris’s modified-risk product application.
However, IQOS was stopped short to be marketed as a less harmful product associated with cigarette smoking.
It was due to inadequate support of evidence proposed by Philip Morris.
However, the agency stressed that, with the permission, it does not mean IQOS is safe, in fact it only reduces harm and as an alternative for consumer to switch from cigarettes. -
Commenting on the announcement, Philip Morris Malaysia’s Managing Director, Naeem Shahab Khan said, the company welcomes the decision by the FDA to authorize the marketing of the IQOS system in the US as a modified risk tobacco product.
“This decision confirms that IQOS is distinctly different from cigarettes. It also highlights the fact that not all tobacco and nicotine-containing products are the same.
“While quitting tobacco and nicotine altogether is always the best choice for adult smokers, we know many of them don’t, and therefore Malaysian consumers deserve to receive accurate information that allows them to make a better choice than continued cigarette smoking,” said him. - DagangNews.com