US expert panel doubts benefits of heated tobacco device

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US expert panel doubts benefits of heated tobacco device
This undated image provided by Philip Morris in January 2018 shows the company's iQOS product. The device heats tobacco sticks but stops short of burning them, an approach that Philip Morris says reduces exposure to tar and other toxic byproducts of burning cigarettes. This is different from e-cigarettes, which don’t use tobacco at all but instead vaporize liquid usually containing nicotine. (Philip Morris via AP)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. government experts have rejected a proposal from Philip Morris International to sell its “heat-not-burn” tobacco device as a lower-risk alternative to cigarettes that reduces disease.

But the panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration endorsed a lesser claim that the product reduces exposure to harmful chemicals in cigarettes. The mixed review suggests Philip Morris will be able to market its device to U.S. smokers, but on limited terms.

The FDA is reviewing the closely watched device, iQOS (EYE-kose), which is already sold in more than 30 countries. The penlike device heats sticks of tobacco, but stops short of burning them.

The panel’s opinion is nonbinding and the FDA will make a final decision in coming months on the device and how it could be marketed.