SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – HNB (heat-not-burn) E-cigarette IQOS is much safer for smokers than a traditional cigarette, says Philip Morris International, and the company has the words of a medical expert to back up its assertion.
On November 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, Philip Morris Korea hosted a round table discussion featuring Dr. Michael Franzon, chief medical advisor to the tobacco giant. Franzon spoke in defense of the IQOS, which has been a huge hit ever since its release in the South Korean market, specifically for its relatively less harmful qualities.
“Compared to traditional cigarettes, the IQOS produces 90 percent less of the 58 chemical substances identified by Philip Morris and the 18 classified by the U.S. FDA, and if one discusses the 15 carcinogens named by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), the number goes up to 95 percent,” said Franzon.
He further added, “In toxicity tests as well, the IQOS’s toxicity measured on average 90 to 95 percent below that of cigarettes.”
Announcing the results of a study measuring the presence of carcinogens among a traditional smoker, an IQOS smoker and an individual who had quit smoking over 90 days, Franzon explained that “the levels of carcinogens present from the IQOS were the same or slightly higher than those of the non-smoker”.
Saying this, the smoking cessation expert blamed the high temperatures required to light cigarettes for the production of hazardous chemicals. “A cigarette, when lit, can reach temperatures between 600 to 800 degrees, but in comparison the IQOS does not hit 400, which is why there are no harmful chemicals left after burning,” he said.
Franzon’s testimony on behalf of IQOS is music to the ears for Philip Morris, which needs all the good news it can get with its South Korean branch facing a more competitive market following the introduction of South Korean company KT&G’s “Lil”, and rumblings of a prospective tax hike on each pack of tobacco sticks sold (called Heets).
Both Philip Morris Korea and BAT Korea previously made public in-house research that made the case that their respective HNB e-cigarettes produced 90 percent less hazardous chemicals than traditional options.
If one asks Dr. Franzon, cigarettes and IQOS are not even in the same family. “Comparing IQOS to a cigarette is like comparing apples and oranges,” he insisted.