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October 20, 2017

Philip Morris “Might” Quit Manufacturing Conventional Cigarettes in Favor of Heat-not-Burn


Big Tobacco, Philip Morris launched a new cigarette product in the UK claiming to be healthier than their conventional tobacco products. This smokeless cigarette is described as a “hybrid between analogs and electronic cigarettes.” The Marlboro maker tobacco giant’s product heats tobacco rather than burning it and the company claims that it delivers the same nicotine hit, but 90% less  toxins  within the cigarette smoke. Their “science” can be read here. Though its trials have not yet been verified externally, the Phillip Morris is claiming the new cigarette has the same impact as quitting smoking. Philip Morris International (PMI), has reportedly spent $3bn (£2.4bn) creating the substitute cigarette, the IQOS, which is the result of over ten years of research. Philip Morris has a lot riding on its new product, especially in view of its traditional tobacco sales, which have been steadily declining within developed countries over the past years. This can be attributed in large part to sustained public health campaigns, rising tobacco tariffs and marketing restrictions.

iquos

Philip Morris IQOS

According to PMI’s Chief Executive, André Calantzopoulos, the company would like to work with government towards the “phase-out” of conventional cigarettes. He told the Today program in his first UK broadcast interview that that the company is well aware that its products harm consumers, and that the right thing to do is to find and commercialise ones that are less harmful.

But anti-smoking campaigners like Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), argues that products such as IQOS, like tobacco, need tough regulation.

We still need to be very cautious about what the industry’s up to,” she said. “Philip Morris is a tobacco company. They are still making most of their profits from selling cigarettes. On current trends, smoking will kill one billion people in the 21st century, most in poor countries. If Philip Morris really want to see the end of smoking they have to stop promoting smoking to new young smokers around the world.

This is NOT vaping

Together with e-cigarettes, Heat-not-Burn (HNB) cigarettes provide an alternative to combustible cigarettes for smokers who don’t want or can’t stop smoking. The tobacco industry (read Big Tobacco) has realized that the sustainability of combustible cigarettes was compromised t on the long-term and develop a diversified offer. In the view of the tobacco lobby, HNB cigarettes provide the advantage of a harm-reduction effort while ensuring a sort of brand portability at a time when brands marketing is muzzled by the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) with plain packaging.

HNB cigarettes are promoted by their manufacturers as a much safer alternative to smoking than tobacco cigarettes. Research and development teams pretend that HNB products provide the throat hit that is sought by smokers when quitting and deliver nicotine as fast as a conventional cigarette.

HNB cigarettes are basically a tobacco stick, impregnated with a mixture whose composition remains secret, generates something between smoke and vapor when heated by an electric element. The absence of combustion, the mechanism through which most of the harmful compounds are produced, positions HNB cigarettes in the Next Generation Products (NGP) category with a lower risk profile compared to the secular and traditional cigarette.

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