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Great victory, IQOS is going to be sold in the U.S., FDA says it's less harmful than cigarettes in a way

Yesterday, the US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed IQOS to be launched on the US market while after extensive research describing it as producing fewer pollutants than cigarettes. 


The US Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it has allowed the marketing of new tobacco products manufactured by Philip Morris Products SA to the IQOS "Tobacco Heating System", an electronic device that heats tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper producing a nicotine-containing aerosol.

Based on available expert studies, the agency found that the aerosol produced by IQOS contains fewer toxic chemicals than cigarette smoke. For example, exposure to carbon monoxide from IQOS is comparable to the environmental exposure, acrolein levels are 89% to 95% and formaldehyde 66% to 91% lower than in burning cigarettes while maintaining similar nicotine levels.


Three HeatStick variations were approved for sale:

  • Marlboro HeatSticks
  • Marlboro Smooth Menthol HeatSticks
  • Marlboro Fresh Menthol HeatSticks

The FDA has introduced tough marketing restrictions on product sales in an effort to prevent youth access and exposure, similarly as it has banned TV and radio advertising on cigarettes, and has set a limit to social networks propagation and web promotion. The second application for product approval as "with modified reduced risk of smoking" is still under consideration.


André Calantzopoulos, CEO of PMI, commented on the FDA announcement:

„In just two years, 7.3 million people have left cigarettes around the world and switched to IQOS completely. The FDA's decision to authorize IQOS in the US is an important step forward for approximately 40 million US men and women who smoke. The FDA announcement is a historic milestone.“

IQOS will be sold in the US under an exclusive license by Altria company, starting summer 2019. It plans to open an IQOS store and many mobile stores. Marlboro Tobacco Sticks will be available in approximately 500 retail stores, including Circle K, Murphy USA, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Speedway, and many others.


In response to the announcement, PMI shares rose 2% and closed at $ 86.56. Altria's shares rose 1.5% and closed at $ 54.33.

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