The Heat Is On
I’m sure no one would have ever believed that something could truly shake the house that Philip Morris built, but here in the United Kingdom, people who are quitting smoking are doing just that. By taking up vaping and quitting cigarettes, nearly three million users and growing, are changing the future forever.
How, you ask? By turning away from cigarettes and vaping, they’re living healthier lives, saving money and hitting the big tobacco companies hard. You know that when an icon such as the Philip Morris company begins to pull their cigarettes off the shelves, it’s serious.
Not only is big tobacco running scared, they’re trying hard to jump on the vape band wagon by introducing their ‘vape’ version of heated tobacco. It’s called heated tobacco or IQOS and although the claims are that it’s far safer than cigarettes, the jury is still out on that one.
In the United States, an expert panel at the Food and Drug Administration was convened to study Philip Morris’ heated tobacco assertions as well as the device it has already introduced to markets around the world: the IQOS.
The Survey Says
Philip Morris was seeking government accreditation for the product that it is a safer alternative to smoking, and wanted to be the first tobacco company to get it.
However, everything didn’t go as hoped for the tobacco giant. The advisory panel rejected the claims and were not satisfied with the science behind them. The Panel concluded that there was no evidence to support the argument that “scientific studies have shown that switching completely from cigarettes to the IQOS system can reduce the risks of tobacco-related diseases.”
In the ten years since smoking was banned from enclosed public spaces in England, vaping has gone on to become a £1 billion business, with around three million vapers currently here in the United Kingdom. Vaping, according to the NHS is one of the most effective ways to quit smoking.
Goodbye Tobacco Road
And while it is abundantly clear that tobacco is a dying business and the big cigarette producers are trying to muscle into healthier alternatives, it doesn’t appear to be working out.
So far, few people agree that heated tobacco products can be included in this desirable category, but it’s a safe bet that large tobacco companies like Philip Morris won’t give up without an almighty fight.
Are these heated tobacco kits and the IQOS method safer? Are they effective? Should they be marketed with the same assertions as e-cigs and e-liquids? The FDA is expected to make a final decision on the application in the next few months, and the agency has historically tended to follow the advice of its expert panels in these kinds of cases.
I suppose time and studies will show us what’s what with this particular issue, but if the FDA doesn’t approve it, what will these tobacco giants try next to keep from going under?
Speaking for myself, I’ll just carry on vaping.
Stay tuned because the battle is ongoing and it’s a big one, folks.