The iQOS device, is a Heat not Burn (HnB) smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes and works by heating tobacco leaves known as Heets or HeatSticks. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the device and are heated up once it is switched on.
However, as around the rest of the world, many Hong Kong anti-smoking groups are skeptical about the the safety of a product sold by a company which sells deadly cigarettes. Naturally they assume that the launch of this product is nothing but another income generating scheme and a way “to downplay the health risks associated with smoking” and lure “curious youngsters” to try the device and become hooked on nicotine.
Irregularities in the research conducted by PMI
Former coordinator for PMI’s trials and co-author of the company’s protocol used to run it’s studies globally, Tamara Koval, said that at some point she questioned the quality of some of the researchers and sites contracted to carry out this research. But voicing her concerns resulted in her being excluded from meetings.
Independent studies do indicate that HnB are safer alternatives
In 2016, PMI submitted a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) application with the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products for iQOS. However last month, an FDA panel reviewed the iQOS application, and voted to reject over a million pages of evidence, dismissing PMI’s claim that iQOS is a safer alternative to cigarettes
On the other hand, in line with PMI’s claims, a number of reliable and independent studies have also indicated that although not completely risk free, the iQOS devices do carry significantly less health risks than regular cigarettes.
Read Further: The Standard