• The Financial District


Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Philip Morris International has hailed as a “historic moment for public health” the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to authorize IQOS as a “modified risk tobacco product (MRTP).

In a global virtual press conference, Philip Morris CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said the FDA decision is expected “to benefit the health of the population.”

Issued on 7 July 2020, the US FDA’s latest decision marks the first time the agency has granted MRTP marketing order for an innovative electronic alternative to cigarettes. 

The IQOS Tobacco Heating System includes the electronic IQOS device that generates a nicotine-containing aerosol by heating tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper (HeatSticks).

“I hope that the FDA decision will end the debate on whether all tobacco products are the same and whether nicotine is the issue. We now know that not all tobacco products are the same and that combustion—not nicotine—is the issue, “ he said.

“ An enormous public health opportunity will be missed if smoke-free products that are scientifically reviewed are not made available to smokers today, and if appropriate cost commercialization policies and surveillance are not implemented to maximize adoption of smoke-free alternatives by adult smokers and minimize any unintended use by nonsmokers, especially the youth,” he added.

“The latest MRTP authorization issued by the US FDA with the designation ‘appropriate for the promotion of public health’ is certainly a step up,” said Dr. Moira Gilchrist, vice president, Strategic & Scientific Communications, PMI. 

“Underpinning all of the US FDA decisions is a science-based approach, something that we certainly want to see happen in many other countries around the world,” Gilchrist added.

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