Philip Morris Applies To Bring Heated-Up Tobacco Sticks To U.S.

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

You might remember that a few months ago, we shared some interesting smoking news: that Philip Morris was working on a new product that’s somewhere between an e-cigarette and an old-fashioned tobacco one. Instead of lighting tobacco on fire, users would heat it up in a special device, inhaling a vapor instead of smoke. The company plans to apply for FDA approval for the system, seeking approval to sell it as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “isn’t there already a product on the market that lets you inhale nicotine-infused vapor instead of smoke?” Yes. There are quite a few, actually, but products that are alternatives to tobacco can’t be marketed as healthier.

Since this system, which Philip Morris calls IQOS, does use tobacco, the company can at least apply to market it with the claim that it harm users less than traditional tobacco. The company claims that it gives off 10% of the harmful chemicals that burning tobacco does.

The product is already on the market in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan. It isn’t marketed as “healthier than cigarettes” in those countries, though. Ultimately, the CEO of Philip Morris claims, the company may not sell cigarettes at all in the future, offering only modified tobacco products like IQOS and e-cigarettes.

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