Health Canada and Rothmans Benson & Hedges meeting: Heated tobacco products – June 26, 2018

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Meeting to discuss developments with respect to heated tobacco products


June 26, 2018


Health Canada (HC)

  • James Van Loon
    • Director General, Tobacco Control Directorate (TCD) (Chair)
  • Dana Beaton
    • Director, Office of Research & Surveillance (TCD)
  • Graham O’Brien
    • Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning (TCD)
  • Manager, Plain Packaging (TCD)
  • A/Senior Advisor, Director General’s Office (TCD)
  • A/Policy Analyst, Tobacco Products Regulatory Office (TCD)

Rothmans Benson & Hedges (RBH)

  • Peter Luongo
    • Managing Director (RBH)
  • Gizelle Baker
    • Director Scientific Engagement, Philip Morris International (PMI)
  • Michael Klander
    • Director Corporate Affairs (RBH)
  • Marcela Cagnone
    • Manager External Engagement (RBH)
  • Maya Zor
    • Counsel


A meeting was held at the request of RBH to discuss developments with respect to heated tobacco products.

The Chair opened the meeting by doing round table introductions.

RBH explained its objective for the meeting was to present its scientific studies on Heated Tobacco Products.


Observations related to the proposed regulations

RBH indicated that firstly it would like to discuss observations related to the proposed regulations entitled Tobacco Products Regulations (Plain and Standardized Appearance) and an Order to amend Schedule 1 to the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA) with respect to colouring agents, which were published in Canada Gazette, Part I for consultation on June 23, 2018. 

RBH voiced its concern regarding the implementation timeframe for the slide-and-shell pack type and its inability to meet market demand without disruption. It also expressed confusion by the proposed measures for the appearance of tobacco products to require a standard diameter for cigarettes. 

In response, the Chair confirmed that RBH is invited to provide comments via a detailed submission to the request for consultation, which will be considered by HC.

Heated Tobacco Products

PMI’s Director of Scientific Engagement presented a deck related to heated tobacco products, which, in her view, has the potential for risk reduction for smokers. The presentation focused on a range of products with different types of technology, such as the IQOS Tobacco Heated System (THS) and electronic cigarettes, and provided information related to the results of studies conducted by PMI on the IQOS, including research on nicotine addiction, product assessment approaches, toxicological assessments and exposure studies, perception and behavior assessments and clinical studies.

The presentation also referenced a number of third party studies, which substantiate RHB’s claims that the scientific evidence on THS demonstrates that switching completely to a THS product is likely to present less risk of harm than continuing to smoke.

Following a question from HC, RBH further explained device variability and consistency by referencing the aerosol chemistry work done by PMI. RBH also indicated that the data sets for the studies conducted by PMI are publicly available.   


RBH indicated that its challenges stem from increased regulatory oversight and its inability to inform consumers about the health hazards related to the use of heated tobacco products such as IQOS.  The Chair responded that the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act clearly states no relative risk statements within the tobacco family are permitted once section 20.1 comes into effect, and moving away from this prohibition would require legislative change. The Chair noted that the 1st review of the TVPA will take place in 3 years, as per the Act’s new requirement.


The meeting was then concluded.


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