US FDA Authorizes Marketing Of IQOS Tobacco Heating System With “Reduced Exposure” Information

On Tuesday, July 7, U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the marketing of Philip Morris Products S.A.’s “IQOS Tobacco Heating System” as modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs).

This marks the second set of products ever to be authorized by FDA as MRTPs and the first tobacco products to receive “exposure modification” orders, which permits the marketing of a product as containing a reduced level of or presenting a reduced exposure to a substance or as being free of a substance when the issuance of the order is expected to benefit the health of the population.

Importantly, the authorization for these products requires the company to conduct postmarket surveillance and studies to determine whether the MRTP orders continues to be appropriate, including assessing the potential for increased use among youth.

“Through the modified risk tobacco product application process, the FDA aims to ensure that information directed at consumers about reduced risk or reduced exposure from using a tobacco product is supported by scientific evidence and understandable,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.Data submitted by the company shows that marketing these particular products with the authorized information could help addicted adult smokers transition away from combusted cigarettes and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, but only if they completely switch. The FDA will closely monitor how IQOS is used by consumers to determine if these products meet this potential and do not cause increased use among youth. It is important to note that these products are not safe, so people, especially young people, who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using them or any other tobacco product.”

The IQOS Tobacco Heating System includes the electronic IQOS device that generates a nicotine-containing aerosol by heating tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper, specifically Marlboro Heatsticks, Marlboro Smooth Menthol Heatsticks and Marlboro Fresh Menthol Heatsticks. The FDA previously authorized the marketing of these products without modified risk information in April 2019 via the premarket tobacco application (PMTA) pathway.

This action further authorizes the manufacturer to market these specific products with the following information:

 

Available Evidence to Date
  • The IQOS system heats tobacco but does not burn it.
  • This significantly reduces the production of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Scientific studies have shown that switching completely from conventional cigarettes to the IQOS system significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.”

It is important to state that even with this action, these products are not safe nor “FDA approved.”

The issuance of the exposure modifications order is expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.

In particular, the agency determined the company demonstrated that because the IQOS Tobacco Heating System heats tobacco and does not burn it, it significantly reduces the production of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke. Furthermore, studies showed switching completely from combusted cigarettes to the IQOS Tobacco Heating System significantly reduces the body’s exposure to 15 specific harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.

The toxicological assessment also found that, compared with cigarette smoke, IQOS aerosols contain considerably lower levels of potential carcinogens and toxic chemicals that can harm the respiratory or reproductive systems. Additionally, the FDA found that the applications supported the required consumer understanding findings.

The company must request and receive authorization from the FDA to continue marketing the products with the same modified exposure information after the initial orders expire in 4 years.

*The MRTP pathway outlined in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act allows companies to submit applications for the FDA to evaluate whether a tobacco product may be sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease. By law, the FDA must also ensure that the advertising and labeling of modified risk products enables the public to understand the modified risk or modified exposure information and to understand the significance that information has in the context of total health and in relation to all tobacco-related diseases and health conditions.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of US nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Source: FDA