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Explaining The IQOS Lawsuit

Explaining The IQOS Lawsuit


Explaining The IQOS Lawsuit

One of the most controversial emerging products pushed by Big Tobacco is the IQOS or “I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking” to compete with the vaping industry. The controversy surrounding the “smokeless tobacco”products continues as Philip Morris International (PMI) was hit with a class action lawsuit regarding the IQOS systems in December of 2017.

According to a notice posted to their website, attorneys Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC have filed a complaint against Philip Morris International Inc. alleging that PMI made misleading statements to investors while the company was awaiting approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The class action lawsuit alleges that there were “irregularities in the clinical experiments” of the IQOS systems, and that Philip Morris failed to disclose those irregularities. This failure to disclose those experiments has implications because it could give the false impression on people who were expecting approval from the FDA, and therefore a false impression of the value of their investment.

As a result, anyone who invested in the company between July 26, 2016 and December 20, 2017 are potentially part of the class action lawsuit.

Here at Breazy, we’ll keep a close eye on news about IQOS because of the potential effect on the vaping industry. These products are still banned in the United States due to the aforementioned pending FDA approval.

What Is IQOS? How Does It Work

The key point to smokeless tobacco is that these new IQOS systems operate at temperatures lower than burning tobacco, and therefore do not lead to the combustion of fire, ash, and smoke. Traditional cigarettes burn tobacco at 600 degree celsius (1112 degrees fahrenheit) whereas these new smokeless cigarettes burn at 350 degrees celsius (662 degrees fahrenheit).

The systems were introduced in 2014 and marketed by PMI under the Marlboro and Parliament brands. The first smokeless tobacco systems were rolled out in Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy in 2014. Instead of a heating element being placed in a tank filled with e-liquid, it's placed in a chamber into which the user inserts a PG-soaked cigarette - the PG both helps to keep the tobacco and cigarette paper from actually burning while also conveying the vaporized tobacco essence to the device's user.

The argument made by Philip Morris International (PMI) is that by heating the tobacco instead of burning it, less toxins are released and therefore the end result is less harmful for the smoker. The goal is to take the smoke out of smoking, but to keep smokers using real tobacco.

The Controversy

Philip Morris filed for FDA approval of the IQOS system in August 2017, although that approval is still pending. It’s unclear what this class action lawsuit means for the FDA approval process, but “irregularities in the clinical experiments that underpin Philip Morris’ application to the FDA for approval of its IQOS smoking device” cannot be a good sign.

At its core, the IQOS systems might not be a bad idea for people looking to quit traditional cigarettes, but there’s also skepticism that this is a marketing ploy by Big Tobacco to push products that are equally as unhealthy to cigarettes.