Philip Morris (NZ) calls for appropriate packaging
Philip Morris (NZ) calls for appropriate packaging and health warnings
AUCKLAND – [8th August 2018] – Philip Morris (New Zealand) Limited (PMNZ) today announced that it will be placing its smoke-free product, HEETS, into cigarette-style packaging to comply with the Ministry of Health’s interpretation of standardised packaging regulations now in effect for all tobacco products. However, the company has called for more appropriate packaging and health warning regulations that recognise that HEETS are different from cigarettes.
HEETS are a heated tobacco product specifically designed for use with IQOS, a smoke-free product that heats tobacco rather than burning it.
PMNZ General Manager, James Williams, said: “In our view, cigarette style packaging and mandatory health warnings on HEETS are inappropriate and misleading because they wrongly suggest that HEETS are smoked, which they are not, and are no different from cigarettes, when they are very different.
However, in order to ensure existing and future HEETS consumers are not deprived of a smoke-free alternative to cigarettes we’ve decided to put HEETS into cigarette-style packaging on an interim basis, while we wait for the Ministry of Health to adopt properly-tailored health warning regulations that reflect the significant differences between HEETS and cigarettes”.
PMNZ said that HEETS warnings should make it clear that they are not risk-free and contain nicotine, which is addictive. They should not – as currently required – mislead consumers into believing that HEETS produce smoke and that the health risks associated with smoke-free products like HEETS are the same as the risks associated with cigarettes.
Mr Williams said that “PMNZ is committed to building a smoke-free future in New Zealand. Clearly, the best option for smokers is to quit smoking altogether, but many continue to smoke despite the known risks. These smokers should have access to accurate and non-misleading information about smoke-free alternatives”.