Key Issues

in Cessation Policy & Harm Reduction, E-cigarettes, Tobacco Industry

Next Generation Products in Canada: An Update on Heated Tobacco

Earlier this year, the tobacco industry launched the first wave of next generation products (NGPs) onto the Canadian market. Unlike the United States, Canada does not require any kind of pre-market authorization prior to the introduction of new tobacco products. Last March Philip Morris International’s Canadian subsidiary, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (RBH), launched iQOS, a heated tobacco product, in Ontario. British American Tobacco’s (BAT) Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Tobacco, followed suit in May in the Greater Vancouver Area with its version of heated tobacco, a product called i-glo.

Both iQOS and i-glo are essentially hybrids between electronic and regular cigarettes: short sticks containing tobacco and other substances are heated in an electronic device to a temperature that releases the flavour and nicotine and produces what PMI calls “tobacco vapour” instead of smoke, claiming the tobacco is not heated to a high enough temperature to reach combustion. RBH is lobbying aggressively to have iQOS regulated federally as a vapour product in order to take advantage of fewer restrictions on flavours, packaging and labelling, and advertising and promotion, including the possibility of being able to make promotional relative risk statements. A key question is whether heated tobacco products offer the same reduction in risk as vapour products and therefore warrant the same less restrictive regulatory controls.

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