Philip Morris International is unlikely to get permission to sell its iQOS heated tobacco device in Australia under current regulations, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald relayed by the TMA and quoting the assistant health minister, David Gillespie.
Gillespie said that the commercial supply of nicotine was effectively prohibited in Australia via state and territory poisons legislation, with some exceptions, such as for tobacco prepared and packed for smoking, and certain nicotine replacement therapies.
He was quoted as saying that these exemptions would be unlikely to apply to heat-not-burn products because ‘the nicotine in them would not be in the form of tobacco prepared and packed for smoking’.
The story said that the recent decision by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to retain nicotine on its poisons list, effectively banning eVapor products containing nicotine, also complicated PMI’s plans.
Despite the TGA having no direct role in making rules about heat-not burn products, Gillespie said that “further consideration of policy options to address heat-not-burn products may be considered in the context of a national response to e-cigarettes”.
Meanwhile, Tony Snyder, PMI’s vice president of communications, said that iQOS was for adult smokers “looking for product choices that offer the satisfying taste, ritual, and pleasure they get from cigarettes, but with far lower amounts of the harmful compounds found in smoke”.