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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. 1Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. 3Tobacco 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}otago.ac.nz

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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 (https://nz.iqos.com) ‘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 …

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Footnotes

  • 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 (www.bloomberg.org).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

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