The COT reviewed PMI’s IQOS and British American Tobacco’s iFuse. The evidence gathered by the committee indicated that the products still pose a risk, but despite not being able to quantify the exact level, the COT said that this risk is less than that from smoking.
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“The evidence suggests that heat-not-burn products still pose a risk to users,” said COT chairman Professor Alan Boobis. “There is likely to be a reduction in risk for cigarette smokers who switch to heat-not-burn products but quitting entirely would be more beneficial.”
The COT said that it even recorded a reduction in risk to bystanders when comparing second hand vapor to second hand smoke, but added that the risk to unborn babies from pregnant women using these products is difficult to quantify.
Inline with what public health experts have been saying, Boobis insisted on the fact that non-smokers should not take up these products. “The committee expressed concern over the potential for non-smokers to take up these products because they are not without risk,” he said.
These risks need to be also compared with those from e-cigs
The CEO of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Deborah Arnott concurs, “COT concluded that while heat-not-burn products are lower risk than smoking they are not risk-free, so quitting tobacco use completely is still the healthiest option.” However, she added, this study is incomplete as it did not analyze vaping products, hence did not compare risk levels with those from such products. “The COT review did not examine the evidence on e-cigarettes, so was unable to compare the two. This is needed to help provide reassurance to the public and Ash recommends COT be commissioned to carry out such a comparison.”
Read Further: Birmingham Mail