iQOS legality questioned

| February 3, 2017

new zealand photoNew Zealand’s Ministry of Health has declared that a heated-tobacco product launched in New Zealand by Philip Morris is illegal, according to a story Vaughan Elder for odt.co.nz.

The product, iQOS, was launched in Auckland in December.

When the launch was reported in the Otago Daily Times last month, the ministry said it was in discussions with Philip Morris over the product, but stopped short of saying it was illegal.

The ministry has now clarified its position and says that while the battery-powered holder is legal, the tobacco sticks, called Heets, are not, because the tobacco in them is heated as opposed to burnt.

Heets were said to be prohibited for sale in New Zealand under the Smoke-free Environments Act.’

But chief legal adviser Phil Knipe said the ministry was still in discussions with Philip Morris about the product.

”The ministry continues to monitor the situation for any breaches of the Smoke-free Environments Act,” he said.

A Philip Morris New Zealand spokesman was quoted as saying the company remained confident Heets complied with the Smoke-Free Environments Act.

”As previously stated, the section of the law referenced by the ministry was put in place in the 1990s to address chewing tobacco and has nothing to do with heated tobacco or e-cigarettes,” he said.

As iQOS and Heets were new products in New Zealand, the company was sharing its views with the ministry over their ”proper classification under the act”.

Category: Breaking News

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