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PMI New Zealand conflates IQOS heated tobacco products with electronic nicotine delivery systems
  1. Lindsay Robertson1,
  2. Janet Hoek2,
  3. Karin Silver3
  1. 1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2 Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. 3 Tobacco Control Research Group, Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lindsay Robertson, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; l.robertson{at}

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A sponsored article in Reuters Plus, paid for by Philip Morris International (PMI) and published in April 2021, presented figures gleaned from a survey about alternative nicotine products that PMI commissioned and consulting firm Povaddo conducted. The article states that many smokers are denied accurate information about PMI’s ‘smoke-free’ products, which causes confusion about these products’ purported role in helping people transition away from conventional cigarettes.1 According to the survey data presented, among smokers who have seen, read or heard something about ‘smoke-free’ products in the past 6 months, nearly half (47%) report receiving conflicting or unclear information.1 PMI appears to imply others are responsible for this conflicting information, even though its own advertising, which has conflated heated tobacco products (HTPs) with electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), may foster confusion.

Recent promotions on the IQOS New Zealand (NZ) online store ( ‘bundle’ IQOS VEEV, PMI’s brand of ENDS, with IQOS 3 or IQOS 3 Multi, both HTPs. The promotion suggests using IQOS VEEV ‘when you’re on the go’ and an IQOS HTP ‘when you have a moment to relax’ (figure 1), thus explicitly encouraging consumers to dual use an HTP with ENDS.

Figure 1

Price promotion for ‘bundle’ of IQOS VEEV (e-cigarette) and IQOS 3 Multi (heated tobacco …

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  • Contributors LR conceptualised the article and collected the data cited. LR, JH and KS jointly developed the manuscript. All authors have approved the final manuscript version.

  • Funding LR acknowledges the funding from a Royal Society Marsden Fast-Start grant UOO2028 and a National Heart Foundation of New Zealand Research Fellowship. KS acknowledges the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products project funding (

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.