“Tobacco giant can’t be trusted on latest health claims

Tobacco giant Philip Morris can’t be trusted on latest health claims

"Tobacco companies lied for years about the link between smoking and cancer. Now Marlboro manufacturer Philip Morris is making fresh health claims. We would be crazy to believe them without independent proof” CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland Averil Power said today (1st December).

She was responding to claims by the tobacco giant that they have developed a new ‘less harmful’ cigarette.

According to Ms Power, “Tobacco companies will do and say anything to sell their products. In developing countries they are still pushing cigarettes using methods that have been illegal here for years. Having lost their court challenges to European restrictions on traditional cigarettes, they are now investing billions in developing unregulated new products. Ultimately, their objective is increase smoking levels by whatever means necessary.  

“Philip Morris has reportedly spent $3 billion developing the new iQos cigarette it launched in the UK this week. The product has also been on sale in other countries such as Japan for a few years. Yet there is still no independent proof of the tobacco company’s claim that it is far less harmful. Given tobacco companies’ track record in lying about the health impacts of their products, their latest claims must be met with scepticism.

“One in every two smokers will die of a smoking-related disease. Exposure to cigarette smoke is also a strong risk factor for asthma. UK figures released this week showed that one in three children hospitalised with asthma had just been exposed to secondhand smoke.

“Having been on the back foot for decades, public health authorities are finally starting to win the battle against smoking. There are now over 100,000 less smokers in Ireland than there were ten years ago. Bans on smoking in cars, playgrounds, hospital grounds and college campuses are also having a positive impact. It is vital we keep up this momentum and ensure any new products introduced by tobacco companies are independently tested and regulated”, she concluded.