A FDA panel rejected claims from Philip Morris that its tobacco-based smokeless stick is safer than regular cigarettes. On Thursday, the advisory committee advised the FDA to not give the green light to the penlike device dubbed IQOS.
IQOS is very similar to an e-cigarette, but unlike an e-cig it heats tobacco, but it doesn’t burn it. Philip Morris claims that using the stick, which still emits nicotine vapor, is a lot safer than smoking.
The device is available in 30 countries, and the Japanese are loving it since it offers a better experience than e-cigarettes.
The FDA panel weighed in the risks of the new device for two days before giving a verdict.
The tobacco company wants to sell IQOS under a “modified risk” category, aka a safer alternative to smoking, which is behind 480,000 deaths every year only in the United States.
Philip Morris Claims IQOS is Safe
Philip Morris wants the product to be approved in the U.S. as the safest alternative to cigarettes on the market. The company is now also pushing for an approval to just sell the device in the country without any of such claims. However, that wouldn’t help sales that much.
It is worth noting that the panel’s recommendations are not mandatory for the FDA, so the device could still be approved. We’ll see if the agency oks the sale of the product in the U.S. with the health claims in the next few months.
Apparently, the FDA panel is not convinced that the science cited by Philip Morris to back the product is genuine and that the IQOS will not be marketed to the youth. The tobacco company claims that IQOS would appeal only to adult smokers who want to have a safer alternative to smoking.
Philip Morris also claims that the smokeless stick is tied to a lower risk of disease than conventional smoking because it generates fewer dangerous chemicals.
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