In an eight-to-one vote, the advisory committee rejected the company’s contention that “scientific studies have shown that switching completely from cigarettes to the iQOS system can reduce the risks of tobacco-related diseases.”
The group also expressed doubt that smokers would completely switch to use of the iQOS system, saying many might become long-term dual users of the device and traditional cigarettes.
The panel did support the company’s claim that “‘scientific studies have shown that switching completely from cigarettes to the iQOS system significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.”
The vote may prove to be an obstacle not only for the tobacco giant but for the F.D.A.’s commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, who has made promotion of alternatives to conventional cigarettes the centerpiece of his new tobacco control strategy, announced in July. One sticking point will likely be the company’s ability to show that the product would not appeal to youth, because it includes a sleek case and is rechargeable.
Mitch Zeller, the head of the F.D.A.’s tobacco division, said the agency would review the recommendations, and would likely receive additional information from the company, in response to questions raised this week.