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The meeting was viewed as a test case for the growing market of cigarette alternatives.

On Thursday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel decided that the tobacco supergiant Philip Morris should not be able to claim its new smokeless tobacco device IQOS is safer than smoking.

IQOS, which is pen-shaped and comes with an iPod-like recharger, vaporizes mini tobacco sticks by heating them. Part of a distinct tobacco product category called “heat not burn” devices, IQOS is currently sold in 29 countries. Philip Morris claims it can cut users’ exposure to tobacco carcinogens and save the lives of smokers. Critics worry the slick packaging and marketing around IQOS seems more geared toward attracting youth than helping wean longtime smokers off cigarettes.

Nine members of an FDA advisory panel met on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss whether and how the device should be marketed in the United States. (The company has submitted a separate application to sell IQOS in the US, which is still working its way through the FDA.)

The meeting was viewed as a test case for the growing market of cigarette alternatives. If the panel endorsed IQOS, the device would be the first tobacco product marketed under a “modified risk” claim in the US, suggesting it’s safer than smoking.

But the nine-member panel yesterday decided there isn’t enough proof this gizmo is a safer way to ingest tobacco and nicotine.

Instead, the panel resoundingly rejected Philip Morris’s statements about its product. Panel members voted on a series of questions about the device and were nearly unanimous in opposing the claim that switching from cigarettes to IQOS could cut smokers’ risk of tobacco-related disease. In a 5-4 Read More Here