Philip Morris’ Heated-Tobacco Device Cleared for Sale by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Philip Morris’ iQOS cigarette for sale in the United States. The iQOS is a device that slowly heats up tobacco instead of burning it, intended as a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes. The device is already sold internationally, but it has triggered debate among U.S. health experts over its effect on public health. Health experts worry the iQOS could attract minors, as vaping products have. In announcing the decision, the FDA said iQOS will “produce fewer or lower levels of some toxins than combustible cigarettes.” While the product was cleared for sale by the FDA, it has not been officially “approved”—that’s because all tobacco products are potentially harmful, and are not recommended by the agency.