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Lithuania: advertising for Philip Morris’ IQOS stirs up a debate
The Lithuanian Tobacco Control Authority thinks that IQOS should be subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco. For Philip Morris, this could hurt a product they are touting as the future of smoking.
Although the tobacco giant has not committed any offense, the Lithuanian government is contesting the manufacturer’s remarks. According to Philip Morris, the electronic device should not be regulated like a traditional cigarette. And yet, it’s fair to suspect that advertising for IQOS indirectly promotes tobacco products. Indeed, the electronic device cannot function without tobacco.
Philip Morris has invested more than $3 billion in creating IQOS. It was designed to heat tobacco without burning it. The temperature is just high enough to produce vapour, but not smoke.
A possible violation of Lithuanian Advertising Law
Philip Morris was informed of the situation. The decision is in progress and should be made in the coming weeks. In the meantime, IQOS has seen substantial success in Lithuania. Indeed, this new generation of tobacco products has many potential outlets. Additionally, smokers who are aware of the harmful effects of nicotine are taking more and more interest in IQOS, which is considered to be healthier than traditional cigarettes.
Earlier this year, multiple US senators demanded that the Food and Drug Administration deny Philip Morris’ request to advertise IQOS as a less dangerous product than traditional cigarettes. No study has been able to prove that the electronic device is safe. Regulating IQOS in the same way as traditional cigarettes would allow users to understand that many risks remain.
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