‘Gov’t study on heated to­bacco is mis­lead­ing’

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Park Jae-hyuk jae­hyuk@ko­re­atimes.co.kr

Con­tro­versy has con­tin­ued over the harm­ful­ness of heat-not-burn (HNB) cig­a­rettes, even af­ter the Min­istry of Food and Drug Safety’s an­nounce­ment last week on its anal­y­sis of the level of 11 toxic in­gre­di­ents in Philip Mor­ris In­ter­na­tional’s (PMI) IQOS, KT&G’s lil and Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco’s (BAT) glo.

While KT&G has re­mained si­lent on the govern­ment’s re­search, the for­eign to­bacco makers have gone all out to re­fute the min­istry’s find­ings.

PMI Korea said Tues­day its Chief Science Of­fi­cer Manuel Peitsch will in­tro­duce the re­sults of the com­pany’s lat­est clin­i­cal tests on 1,000 adults who have smoked IQOS or have been ex­posed to the heat-not-burn (HNB) to­bacco prod­uct over the past six months.

The lo­cal af­fil­i­ate of the in­ter­na­tional to­bacco maker is ex­pected to come up with sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to show HNB to­bacco is less harm­ful than or­di­nary cig­a­rettes.

The govern­ment has claimed HNB to­bacco is no less harm­ful than or­di­nary cig­a­rettes, cit­ing the for­mer con­tains much more tar than the lat­ter.

How­ever, PMI Korea has ar­gued the min­istry wrongly mea­sured the tar con­tent of its prod­uct.

“Tar con­tent can only be mea­sured for com­bustible cig­a­rettes, not heated to­bacco which does not burn,” a PMI Korea official said in a press re­lease.

PMI Korea also cited a rec­om­men­da­tion of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, which does not re­gard tar con­tent as a rea­son for to­bacco reg­u­la­tions.

BAT Korea also said it be­lieves the min­istry’s con­clu­sions around tar are mis­lead­ing, al­though its glo was found to con­tain lower amounts of tar and nico­tine than IQOS and lil.

“We are dis­ap­pointed and sur­prised to see the min­istry has not rec­og­nized the re­duced risk po­ten­tial of to­bacco heat­ing prod­ucts, given their own find­ings show the amount of harm­ful sub­stances emit­ted by the prod­ucts is sig­nif­i­cantly lower than tra­di­tional cig­a­rettes,” a BAT Korea official said in a state­ment.

“To­bacco heat­ing prod­ucts are not lit and do not burn to­bacco like cig­a­rettes, and thus do not form cig­a­rette tar. This prin­ci­ple was re­cently con­firmed by the Ger­man Fed­eral In­sti­tute for Risk As­sess­ment, which has stated that any com­par­i­son be­tween the two would be mis­lead­ing.”

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