Philip Morris's iQos Device Causes Fewer Lung Tumors in Mice

(Bloomberg) -- A long-term study of Philip Morris International Inc.’s iQos device showed that the cigarette alternative resulted in a “significant reduction” in lung-tumor formation in mice compared with traditional burnt tobacco.

The data are part of a package of evidence that officials at the Food and Drug Administration will examine in determining whether iQos can be labeled as less risky than traditional cigarettes when used by people. The study results were posted by the FDA, which hasn’t yet weighed in on them.

For Philip Morris, such a claim could be a competitive advantage against companies like Juul Labs Inc. to sell alternatives to cigarettes. IQos belongs to a category of nicotine products referred to as “heat not burn,” which warm tobacco to release nicotine and flavor, but with fewer harmful compounds created by burning.

Philip Morris studied the effects in mice of different levels of aerosol from heated tobacco, cigarette smoke and fresh air over 18 months. The study provides evidence that the carcinogenic potential of the aerosol emitted by iQos is “significantly lower than that of cigarette smoke,” the company wrote in a summary of the results.

IQos failed in January to win the backing of outside FDA advisers as a less risky smoking alternative after they said there wasn’t enough evidence to convince them a reduction in exposure to harmful chemicals from iQos would shrink smokers’ risk of developing diseases such as cancer that are linked to tobacco use.

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