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Imperial Tobacco Canada Pushes Reform on Harm Reduction Alternatives

Imperial Tobacco Canada Pushes Reform on Harm Reduction Alternatives


Imperial Tobacco Canada Pushes Reform on Harm Reduction Alternatives

Tobacco companies around the world are finally coming around to a truth that's been known by the vaping community for a while: vaping products are an excellent way to reduce the harm of smoking combustible cigarettes while still getting that nicotine fix.

One of the largest tobacco companies in Canada, Imperial Tobacco Canada, has recently, in celebration of National Non-Smoking Week, embraced the principles of harm reduction and pushed to get the nation's smoking rate to below five percent before the previously projected year of 2035, according to an article in Business Insider.

The company has been pushing a new type of vaping product that has been called both Tobacco Heating Products (THPs) or I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking (iQOS) devices (the latter is actually a Philip Morris trademark). These products do not use combustion to produce nicotine and in a somewhat similar fashion other vape products, the user inhales vapor instead of smoke, though the vapor in this case is directly derived from tobacco, unlike with traditional vapor products.

Initiative In England

In December, a similar move was made in England when Big Tobacco giant Philip Morris, which owns Marlboro and Parliament, took out a full-page newspaper ad declaring that they, a big tobacco company, wanted to quit smoking.

The company's advertisement read: “Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it's our turn."

“Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes in the UK. It won't be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality. There are 7.6 million adults in the UK who smoke. The best action they can take is to quit smoking,” the ad copy continued.

The company has been test marketing its iQOS products for a few years now; their first smokeless tobacco systems rolled out in Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy in 2014, and have since shown up in cities all around the world. However, despite the relative success in other countries, the products have hit multiple roadblocks in the United States.  

What Does This Mean For Vaping

At this stage, it’s unclear what this means for the vaping industry. On one hand, it seems to be a move in the right direction for tobacco companies to recognize the dangers of their own products, and realize the positivity of harm reduction that here at Breazy, we’ve argued for a long time.

This concession by Big Tobacco should lend some weight to the arguments that the vape community and others have had for some time, and hopefully vaping will gain more widespread acceptance going forward.  

On the other hand, the vaping industry has always been suspicious of the intentions and motivations of companies like Philip Morris and Imperial Toronto Tobacco. What's even less clear is how this will impact the vaping world if the FDA passes legislation allowing for the iQOS systems to be sold in the United States. We shall wait and see.