In December 2016, Philip Morris International (PMI) had announced that it submitted a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) application with the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, for its Heat Not Burn device, iQOS.

The FDA panel did not prove that the device reduced the risk of smoking related diseases, however they did agree that using iQOS instead of regular cigarettes, would significantly reduce a person’s exposure to harmful chemicals.

In 2018, an FDA panel reviewed the iQOS application, and voted to reject over a million pages of evidence, dismissing PMI’s claim that their iQOS heated tobacco product is a safer alternative to tobacco.

Marketing restrictions set in place to protect minors

This vote however, was not the final act in determining the fate of the MRTP application for iQOS, as the FDA isn’t obliged to follow the panel’s recommendations. Meanwhile, while the MRTP remains under review, last April, the agency authorized the  product’s PMTA, whilst enforcing sensible marketing restrictions, such as ones ensuring that the product won’t be marketed to teenagers.

“The FDA is putting in place post-market requirements aimed at, among other things, monitoring market dynamics such as potential youth uptake,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Meanwhile, Altria, who is selling the products in the US market, said that it chose Atlanta to test marketing and sales strategies for iQOS, due to the area’s “several hundred thousand” adult smokers, adding that it will work to minimize teen exposure to the product.

Read Further: WABE

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