The newest ‘cigarette’ — heat sticks

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Add another cigarette variation to the market: Heat sticks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it has authorized the marketing of new tobacco products manufactured by Philip Morris Products S.A. for the IQOS “Tobacco Heating System” – an electronic device that heats tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper to generate a nicotine-containing aerosol.

By heating rather than burning nicotine, the heat sticks produce fewer or lower levels of some toxins than combustible cigarettes.

The products authorized for sale include the IQOS device, Marlboro Heatsticks, Marlboro Smooth Menthol Heatsticks and Marlboro Fresh Menthol Heatsticks.

The FDA has gone to great lengths to stress that, while it has given approval to the sale of the products, it does not mean that the products are considered safe or “FDA approved.”

“All tobacco products are potentially harmful and addictive and those who do not use tobacco products should continue not to,” the4 FDA noted.

The FDA has also placed stringent marketing restrictions on the products in an effort to prevent youth access and exposure.

“We’ll be keeping a close watch on the marketplace, including how the company is marketing these products, and will take action as necessary to ensure the continued sale of these products in the U.S. remains appropriate and make certain that the company complies with the agency’s marketing restrictions to prevent youth access and exposure,” the FDA said.

The FDA also is requiring all package labels and advertisements for these products to include a warning about the addictiveness of nicotine, in addition to other warnings required for cigarettes, to prevent consumer misperceptions about the relative addiction risk of using IQOS compared to combusted cigarettes.

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