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QUIT SMOKING: Tobacco Company Launches Less Harmful Alternative To Cigarettes In Canada

Millions of Canadians who still smoke cigarettes now have an entirely new option available to them that makers say could replicate the sensation of smoking while significantly reducing their risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc. has launched a smoke-free alternative calledIQOS, that they say will help phase out cigarettes.  The product is an electronic device that heats tobacco instead of burning it, which according to the manufacturer, is a key factor as to why the product is potentially less harmful compared to traditional burned cigarettes.

“When you remove the burning, there are significantly less harmful or potentially harmful chemicals compared to what’s found in cigarette smoke,” says Peter Luongo, Managing Director, Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc.

Even though smoking rates are declining, there are around 4 million Canadians who still smoke in spite of knowing the numerous health risks associated with the addictive habit.

IQOS, falls within the company’s Reduced Risk Product portfolio and is not considered an e-cigarette because it heats real tobacco specifically designed for the device, instead of liquid nicotine like most vaping devices.

Vaping hasn’t proven to be a lasting alternative for many smokers. But with IQOS, Rothmans believes it has a winner in terms of people making a permanent switch from cigarettes, with more than 1 million people having switched already to IQOS in Europe and Asia where the product has been test marketed and sold.

Still, much like vaping, the debate about the use of e-cigarettes in Canada is ongoing, and “the new proposed vaping bill opens the door for a much-needed discussion.” added Luongo.

Regulating e-cigarettes is a move in the right direction according to Luongo, but some of the wording within Bill S-5 could actually prevent Canadians from ever finding out about the potential benefits of products like IQOS.

“The proposed bill prohibits comparing one tobacco product to another, which would make it illegal to compare the potential health benefits of these products with that of continued smoking.  Regulators and stakeholders owe it to the millions of Canadian smokers to review the science behind IQOS and develop a regulatory framework that allows adult smokers to know their options,” he said.

IQOS is currently available online for adult smokers in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta.

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