A new initiative by the Food and Drug Administration could be a boon for cigarette manufacturers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking to totally change the game when it comes to tobacco and smoking, but in the process they may have thrown out a lifeline to the cigarette industry. A new FDA proposal may help tobacco companies develop alternative products for the customers so that they may not only survive, but do better than ever before, according to an Associated Press report.
The initiative by the FDA aims to lower deaths related to tobacco use with a two-pronged approach that would involve cutting nicotine levels in cigarettes and promoting safer alternatives to smoking, like e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes and vaping do not use combustion to deliver nicotine and thus seem to be safer, although experts caution more research is needed.
The FDA will hold a meeting with Philip Morris on the launch of their new product, iQOS, a penlike implement that would heat tobacco without burning it, which is different from both cigarettes and vaping. Philip Morris says this is a safer alternative to cigarettes and it lowers exposure to tar.
“PMI recognizes that cigarettes are a dangerous product. Smokers are far more likely than nonsmokers to get heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other diseases,” states the executive summary of a paper from the FDA discussing the iQOS product. “It is well known that the best way to avoid the harms of smoking is never to start, and for smokers, the best way to reduce the harms of smokingand the risk of tobacco-related disease is to quit. For decades, the goal of reducing the harm caused by smoking has therefore relied on preventing smoking initiation and promoting smoking cessation.”