Philip Morris (PMI) is facing two charges in New Zealand’s court, after the Ministry of Health said that selling the HEETS tobacco sticks is against local law. “It’s the heat sticks that contain tobacco, and there’s no problem that this product contains tobacco,” said Health ministry prosecutor Sally Carter whilst addressing the Wellington District Court.
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Clearly the problem lies in the fact that this device is neither a smoking product nor one that is consumed orally. Ironically, if the Ministry proves that the HnB product is for oral use (which would make it safer), rather than for smoking, the product will be deemed illegal and PMI would be charged.
Current legislation is outdated, but in the meantime lets prosecute anyway
Interestingly, an article published on Stuff last week, pointed out that the ministry is actually aware of the need in legislation changes. Carter not only said that changes are required, but also that they actually are in train of being brought about. However, she insisted, the current charges against PMI, need to be dealt with under the legislation as it is presently.