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Phillip Morris Smokeless Cigarette Not as Safe as E-Cigarettes, Big Tobacco Researcher Says

Last year, Phillip Morris International launched a new type of smokeless cigarette called iQOS. It’s supposed to be a cleaner and less smelly alternative to smoking, but one researcher at rival Imperial Tobacco doesn’t seem to agree with that description.

iQOSSpeaking at a tobacco industry conference in Bologna, last week, Steve Stotesbury, head of scientific regulatory affairs at Imperial Tobacco, had some not-so-nice things to say about the Phillip Morris iQOS. “There’s a lot of black crud in the iQOS device after using it,” he told reporters during an interview. “It smells like an ashtray.”

The iQOS is basically a vaporizer that heats tobacco, instead of burning it, like conventional cigarettes. So-called “heat-sticks” are inserted into the iQOS and pierced by a metal blade that heats them at high temperatures to produce tobacco-flavored vapor. Phillip Morris is betting that its new product will eventually become more popular than electronic cigarettes because using it tastes and feels more like smoking.

This heat-not-burn process could theoretically eliminate a lot of the risk associated with smoking, only Stotesbury thinks e-cigarettes are still much safer. Apparently, he and his team at Imperial Tobacco tested the iQOS and found that some of the processes that occur during a burning cigarette are also occurring in Phillip Morris’ new device.

“While iQOS is capable of reducing harmful compounds associated with cigarette smoke by a factor of ten, an e-cigarette is capable of eliminating most of them completely,” the Imperial Tobacco researcher said.

Although, not as blunt as Steve Stotesbury, Phillip Morris spokespeople were quick to dismiss these statements. Moira Gilchrist, a scientific director at PMI said that trials on almost 350 smokers showed using the iQOS resulted in “a rapid and substantial reduction” in their exposure to harmful chemicals.

“While we are pleased that Imperial now recognizes the harm-reduction potential of heat-not-burn products such as iQOS, it is disappointing that they try to disparage a very promising technology for tobacco harm-reduction they do not have in their portfolio,” an official Phillip Morris statement read.

This kind of statements between tobacco companies is highly unusual, as they normally tend to always form a united front against anti-smoking activists and state authorities trying to impose restrictions on smoking. But this seems to have changed a bit as cigarette companies take different approaches to less-harmful alternative to smoking. Imperial Tobacco, for example, is betting big on e-cigarettes and has already launched its proprietary brand, called Puritane. It has also acquired Blu e-cigs from competitor RJ Reynolds, this summer, but perhaps its most interesting venture was the acquisition of the original e-cigarette patents from Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor known as the ‘father of electronic cigarettes’.

Phillip Morris International, on the other hand, is busy testing and marketing its innovative iQOS, although parent company Altria has also launched its brand of electronic cigarette, the MarkTen, and acquired the popular Green Smoke brand last year.

The iQOS was launched in Japan and Italy at the end of 2014 and has recently gone on sale in Switzerland, as well. Phillip Morris has already conducted eight clinical studies of its products and other long-term tests are already underway, as the tobacco giant plans to submit its finding to the Food and Drug Administration in 2016.

9 Comments/Reviews

  • hara says:

    where can I get?

  • HWHOUHOU says:

    WHERE CAN I GET

  • Harry says:

    I reside in Portugal and seems impossible to purchase your new product…any suggestions please ?

    • mn says:

      portugal is actually one of the first countries whereIQOS was launched.
      they have one shop in Chiado, Lisbon.
      the heat sticks are sold in all Galp gas stations.

  • brandon says:

    I live in the United States and would like to no if i could buy this online i stopped smoking and vape now but if i could buy this new ecig thing i would stop vaping and just that would love to no where i can order it

  • Debbie tan says:
    4 stars

    I saw ppl having when I was in sg.
    Recently, I went Seoul I saw ppl having it again.
    I staying in sg, WHERE CAN I GET THIS PRODUCT?

  • Dragos says:

    It’s an amazing product, I had it shipped to my door today and haven’t smoked since, 11 hours so far. Where e-cigs failed on me miserably today I didn’t feel nervousness associated with withdrawal symptoms as I did with e-cigs. It replicates the feel and nicotine delivery as close to smoking as possible, one tenth of the danger of smoking is really not that bad if you think a little. Wouldn’t you rather continue smoking with 10 times less dangerous compounds? The fact that Imperial tobacco is trying to throw mud at Phillip Morris with their research clearly shows that PM has the better product. Trust me, e-cigs do not compare to IQOS, they are far away from replicating smoking and you feel withdrawal symptoms to the fullest. Nicotine delivery in e-cigs is proven to be up to 30 times less than original smoking, meaning you neec to vape up to 30 times more to get the hit while filling your lungs unnecessarily with liquid. Not saying PM is good, they like other tobacco companies killed millions of people in history, but it was about time they take some of those immensly huge profits and invest a small fraction of it in developing a safer alternative, cause who is supposed to design such a product other than a tobacco company? The world is changing they need to be ahead of the game if they wanna keep a good share of the market. E-cigs are not the future, iqos isn’t either, more research and development is needed, but iqos is just a great start to safer smoking, a truly better alternative than e-cigs.

  • Annon says:

    Altria is not the parent company of Philip Morris International

  • Cihan says:

    I am use iqos almost 1 year really perfect no head aching not too much smell and how many pieces you can smoke every one its testy it’s real nicotine my body is change thank you iqos

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