For public health, authorities around the world should adopt differentiated regulations for heated tobacco products and conventional cigarettes, as the two are too different to be grouped together, Philip Morris International Chief Executive Officer Andre Calantzopoulos said Monday.
Speaking at a webinar media brief, Calantzopoulos hailed the recent decision of US Food and Drug Administration to authorize marketing of its heated tobacco product IQOS as a ”historic“ and ”important“ moment for public health.
The US FDA authorized the marketing of IQOS as a modified risk tobacco product last week, as the agency found that an IQOS exposure modification order is appropriate to promote public health.
While admitting that its flagship heat-not-burn e-cigarette is not free of harmful substances, the CEO explained that it is a fundamentally different tobacco product and a better choice for adults who would otherwise continue smoking.
"Heated tobacco products do not burn, there is no combustion, so they produce less harmful substances," he said.
Calantzopoulos stressed that while policies to encourage people to quit smoking should be in place, the “harm reduction“ policy direction has its limits.
"(The current regulation that does not accept the harm reduction policy) is giving no choice to consumers, which I think is totally unacceptable, because a few people (authorities) cannot make decision on behalf of one billion people," he said.
Making a comparison to fossil fuels and coal, Calantzopoulos urged that governments around the world should provide differentiated policies for conventional cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
“We should stop discussing whether they (heated tobacco products) should be available, but how best and how fast they should be available with regulations that are appropriate for this product that is different from cigarettes,” he added.
The US FDA’s order last week on “exposure modification” comes after PMI had submitted a review of an extensive scientific evidence package in December 2016, the company explained.
Under the decision, PMI can promote its product by saying that the IQOS System heats tobacco but does not burn it; This significantly reduces the production of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals; Scientific studies have shown that switching completely from conventional cigarettes to the IQOS system reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org