The iQOS device is a smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes which works by heating tobacco leaves known as Heets or HeatSticks. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the device, and are heated up once the iQOS device is switched on.
PMFTC, a joint-venture company between Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI) and Fortune Tobacco Corporation (FTC), has now opened four IQOS stores in the Philippines. Found in the following locations: Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City; SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City; SM Southmall in Las Piñas City; and Estancia Mall in Pasig City, the stores will be strictly selling the products to anyone who is 21 years or older. The shops will sell the IQOS devices, heat sticks and a range of related accessories.
“We see smoke-free products as an opportunity to reduce the smoking incidence in the Philippines for the benefit of the public health and society at large,” said PMFTC President Denis Gorkun, in a statement.
The Non Combustible Nicotine Delivery System Regulation Act of 2020
PMFTC President Denis Gorkun, said that several restrictions will be set in place to prevent access to minors.
The announcement follows the passing of a recent bill regulating the manufacture, sale, and distribution of vaping products and other electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems.
The bill shall be known as the “Non Combustible Nicotine Delivery System Regulation Act of 2020” and has been voted for by a total of 88 congressmen. “Recognizing the need for a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes, governments around the world and leading public health institutions have explored the concept of harm reduction as a public health strategy to combat the smoking epidemic,” said Deputy House Speaker Deogracias Victor Savellano.
“Harm reduction is grounded on the idea that people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar. Hence, if there is a way to deliver nicotine to those who smoke cigarettes without the associated harmful by-products that are produced in combustible cigarettes, it would enable smokers to finally quit smoking,” added Savellano.
US FDA authorized IQOS to be marketed as a modified-risk tobacco product
The Philippines is known to follow US regulations, and last July Altria Group announced that the FDA had authorized the marketing of IQOS as a modified risk tobacco product with a reduced exposure claim.
“We’re delighted that the FDA authorized IQOS to be marketed as a modified-risk tobacco product. This authorization gives PM USA an opportunity to communicate additional benefits of switching to IQOS and this decision is an important step for adult smokers. Our 10-year vision is to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a non-combustible future. IQOS is a key part of that future as we develop our portfolio of FDA-authorized, non-combustible products and actively switch adult smokers to them,” said Altria CEO Billy Gifford.
PMFTC President Denis Gorkun, referred to this measure saying that several restrictions will be set in place to prevent access to minors. “The US FDA decision shows that IQOS is a fundamentally different tobacco product compared to cigarettes and a better choice for adults who would otherwise continue smoking,” he said.
“We are implementing age verification and access restriction to ensure that only legal age consumers 21 years old and above will have access to the store, the e-commerce website and the IQOS products. Presentation of a valid government-issued ID is required before any product is handed over to the consumer,” added Gorkun.
Read Further: Manila Times