U.K. Public Health Minister Steve Brine said it was unacceptable for organizations to be promoting tobacco products after The Daily Telegraph reported that Philip Morris Limited (PML) supplied newsagents across Britain with posters promoting its iQOS heat-not-burn device.
“Smoking kills, and that’s why we have clear, strict rules in place protecting people from its harmful effects,” he said.
The National Trading Standards Institute said the posters breached the ban on the advertising of tobacco and tobacco-related products. However, Peter Nixon, managing director of PML, defended the ads, claiming that they were lawful because tobacco advertising laws were designed for cigarettes, not HNB products, which he said, carried lower health risks and are designed to help people quit smoking.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said that the restrictions on tobacco advertising clearly applied to iQOS, just as they do to pipes used for smoking tobacco. “It’s a barefaced cheek for Philip Morris to argue otherwise,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority was investigating a paid-for PML newspaper ad promoting the devices as a “better” alternative to smoking, although the company argued that the ad is in line with the government’s anti-smoking message.
Category: Breaking News