We need your voice. We’re urging the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to reject a proposal from Philip Morris International (PMI) – big tobacco – to sell heat-not-burn (HnB) tobacco products in Australia. These products are toxic and addictive; and will create lung disease in a new generation of Australians.
In late 2019, tobacco company PMI put an application to the TGA seeking to list tobacco prepared and packed for heating as an exempt item under the Poisons Standard. If accepted by the TGA, this would allow PMI – and other tobacco companies – to immediately sell their HnB tobacco products all Australians over the age of 18.
What are heat-not-burn products?
These products are electronic devices that, unlike e-cigarettes, contain tobacco leaf which is heated to generate a nicotine-containing vapour. This makes them different from conventional cigarettes, as well as e-cigarette or vaping devices that use chemical liquids. Heated tobacco products are currently available in more than 50 countries.
Why should you care?
Every year tobacco kills more than 15,500 Australians. It is the leading cause of preventable disease and injury burden in Australia.
PMI argues that scientific assessment shows HnB products produce lower levels of toxic chemicals than cigarettes. While some short-term studies indicate that level of toxicants in the vapor in these products is lower than the levels in the smoke of conventional cigarettes [i], there is no evidence that these products reduce the risk of tobacco-related illnesses [ii].
PMI also says that HnB products are a “better alternative for current Australian smokers who do not quit”. Evidence shows, however, that the introduction of HnB products would likely expand the tobacco market by attracting new users – young people in particular – and significantly reduce smoking cessation rates.
Lung Foundation Australia maintains our position that there are alternative, proven smoking cessation methods, such as best practice nicotine delivery systems and cessation programs, that do not expose the lungs to harmful elements. We are strongly recommending that the TGA adopt a protective and precautionary approach to HnB products.
What can you do?
Support our submission
We want to know your views on current, past and future availability of tobacco cigarettes, flavoured e-cigarettes and HnB products in Australia. Your responses will help us to advocate against a decision to introduce products to the Australian market that could have a devastating impact on many lives.
Please take 5 minutes to complete this short survey and help us ensure our government takes a precautionary approach to the availability of HnB products in Australia. The survey will close at 4pm (AEST) on Friday 24 January.
Make your own submission
In March the TGA will meet to discuss PMI’s application. As part of the reviewing process, public submissions can be made in relation to the application.
- Each submission must include a coversheet – available for download here.
- Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com.
- The subject line of the email must be ‘Proposed Amendments to the Poisons Standard (Medicines/Chemicals)’.
- Submissions close 10 February 2020.
[i] Simonavicius E, McNeill A, Shahab L, et al Heat-not-burn tobacco products: a systematic literature review, Tobacco Control 2019;28:582-594. [ii] Ibid, Signes-Costa, de Granda-Orive, Ramos Pinedo, Camarasa Escrig, de Higes Martínez, Rábade Castedo,(2019). Official Statement of the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) on Electronic Cigarettes and IQOS®. Archivos de Bronconeumologia, 55(11), 581–586.