‘Gov’t study on heated tobacco is misleading’
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.”