WASHINGTON (June 7, 2019)—The R Street Institute welcomes today’s announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products that Philip Morris Product S.A.’s IQOS System has been granted Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) designation, something only achieved by one other product. This decision will provide tobacco users with important risk information that may help them decide to forego smoking combustible cigarettes.

After intense scrutiny, the FDA has agreed that the IQOS System met the standards to demonstrate that the heat-not-burn product puts users at less risk for a variety of smoking-related illnesses when compared to smoking combustible cigarettes. The agency also found that marketing IQOS in this manner will not attract non-tobacco users to the product.

R Street Harm Reduction Research Fellow, Chelsea Boyd noted that the FDA’s decision should be considered a signal that it recognizes that tobacco products exist along a continuum of risk, and that alternative products protect overall public health and help smokers avoid tobacco-related illness and death.

Boyd added, “It is our hope that today’s announcement is a signal from the FDA that they acknowledge the benefits of providing consumers with factual information and want to move the Premarket Tobacco Product Application and MRTP process along swiftly as other products submit their applications for review in the coming months. It is also our hope that consumers will use this information to move away from the most dangerous, combusted products if they choose not to quit using tobacco.”