A tobacco product that its maker claims to be safer than cigarettes won qualified support from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Thursday.
The advisers voted 8-1 to support cigarette giant Philip Morris' claim that its "iQOS"system "significantly reduces your body's exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals." The device heats tobacco but doesn't ignite it.
But on the question of whether that approach translates into a reduction in the risk for tobacco-related diseases, the panel said the tobacco company's studies didn't demonstrate that. The vote was eight against, with one abstention.
Similarly, they said Philip Morris hadn't proved that reducing harmful exposure would necessarily "translate to a measurable and substantial reduction in morbidity and/or mortality." The vote was 5-2 against, with one abstention.
There was some support for the company's claims that "switching completely to iQOS presents less risk of harm than continuing to smoke cigarettes." But the measure failed on a vote of 4-5 against.