JULY 9, 2020
Historic FDA Ruling Should Prompt Canadian Governments to Review Tobacco Regulation: RBH
Governments across Canada should consider new risk-based
approaches to regulate and tax innovative tobacco products differently than
cigarettes to help the country’s 4.5-million smokers quit entirely or switch to
better alternatives to cigarettes, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. said
Risk-based regulation, when coupled with technological
innovation and scientific substantiation, can be a formula for a public health
breakthrough in both reducing the prevalence of smoking in society and
converting those who would otherwise continue to smoke to scientifically
substantiated better alternatives, RBH said.
RBH calls for action after a historic decision this week by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the marketing of IQOS as
a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) in the United States. In doing so, the
agency found that an IQOS exposure modification order is appropriate to promote
the public health.
IQOS is available for sale in Canada, produced by RBH’s
parent company Philip Morris International Inc., as part of a portfolio of
innovations intended to reduce both the exposure and potentially the harm from
The FDA authorized the marketing of IQOS with the following
“Available evidence to date:
The FDA concluded that the available scientific evidence
demonstrates that IQOS is expected to benefit the health of the population as a
whole, taking into account both users of tobacco products and persons who do
not currently use tobacco products.
The FDA’s decision provides an important example of how
governments, industry and health stakeholders can incorporate a harm-reduction
mindset to regulate smoke-free alternatives to differentiate them from
cigarettes in order to protect and promote the public health.
Quotes from Peter Luongo, managing director of RBH:
historic ruling illustrates how the combination of technological innovation,
scientific substantiation, and a harm-reduction approach to public policy can
be brought together in the regulation of smoke-free alternatives to
differentiate them from cigarettes, while both protecting and promoting the
public health in Canada.
• We believe
a risk-based approach can further accelerate the transition of existing adult
smokers away from cigarettes – by quitting entirely or for those who would
otherwise continue to smoke, by switching to scientifically substantiated
alternatives to cigarettes.
innovations are fundamentally different products than combustible cigarettes
and should be regulated differently, as the FDA recognized.
in Canada has not kept pace with innovation of smoke-free technologies – and
now is the time for governments across the country to act urgently with a
risk-based approach to protect the almost five million existing adult smokers
• It is our
hope that this important step in the U.S. leads to a serious conversation among
decision makers across Canada about applying the same principles of harm
reduction that have been used successfully with alcoholic beverages and
cannabis in Canada.
• Heated tobacco products have been developed to provide adult smokers with an alternative to continuing to smoke cigarettes. In the three years since IQOS was first introduced in Canada, thousands of adult smokers have completely switched from smoking cigarettes to using heated tobacco products.
Rothmans, Benson and Hedges (RBH), a subsidiary of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada’s leading tobacco companies. We are also leading the Unsmoke Canada conversation and helping Canadians go smoke-free.
We employ more than 780 people in seven offices and one manufacturing plant across Canada.
At RBH, we think big, start small, and move fast by celebrating diversity of opinions to ensure the best ideas win.