After a wait of two years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Tuesday authorized sales of a new gadget that heats tobacco instead of burning it.
The IQOS device is made by Philip Morris International. It works by heating tobacco-filled sticks (called Heatsticks) to make a nicotine-rich spray. The FDA approved the FDA’s decision to allow the device to be marketed in the United States. However, IQOS is not yet labeled as a lower-risk alternative to cigarettes. Even though it produces fewer cancer-causing chemicals than traditional cigarettes, FDA has not approved a separate application to make IQOS a safer alternative. It’s not yet clear if IQOS can help smokers quit.
Philip Morris USA and Altria, its parent company, will sell IQOS to the U.S. according to a release. The spokesperson for Altria stated that the product will be “priced incentivizing” adult smokers who are seeking alternatives to smoking.
How Does IQOS Operate?
When tobacco is burned at high temperatures, traditional combustible cigarettes create smoke. FDA states that the pen-like IQOS device heats and does not burn “tobacco-filled sticks” wrapped in paper. The result is an aerosol containing nicotine.
Are IQOS Cigarettes Safer Than IQOS?
This question has not been addressed by the FDA yet, so it is too early to know. Although the FDA states that Iqos Iluma Prime aerosol has lower levels of cancer-causing chemicals than cigarette smoking, including formaldehyde (acrolein), it doesn’t mean that these products have been declared safe. In a press release, the FDA stated that all tobacco products are dangerous and addictive. It is recommended that people who have not used tobacco products discontinue using them.
Nicotine is a stimulant. Expert says stimulants have effects on the brain as well as cardiovascular effects. We often make a big deal about the tar in cigarettes and other byproducts, but we must also consider the importance of drug addiction. It doesn’t guarantee that this will reduce other adverse outcomes.
Can IQOS Help Adults Quit Cigarettes?
Expert says, If there wasn’t an e-cigarette and this just came on the market, it wouldn’t be a step ahead.” The problem with electronic cigarettes is that they are a non-tobacco product, and we now have them doing the same thing.
Although e-cigarettes may have some risks, early research has shown them to be linked to heart disease, respiratory disease, and DNA damage. The expert believes they offer a safer alternative to IQOS, as they don’t contain tobacco. E-cigs make an aerosol from heating and vaporizing liquids that often contain nicotine. IQOS can theoretically be good news for public health if e-cigarette smokers stop smoking. However, Expert warns that it could also cause harm if e-cigarette users switch to tobacco cigarettes.
Is Youth Use A Concern?
E-cigarettes are legal only for adults. However, they’re becoming increasingly popular among teenagers. This raises concerns that they could lead to nicotine addiction. To combat this, the FDA has slapped down on e-cig sales and marketing to keep them away from children’s hands.
The FDA warns that IQOS will not be popular with teens as it is not available in sweet or fruity flavors, and will cost a lot more. The FDA will ban radio and television advertising that IQOS is targeting adults to ensure safety.