TV show hyped Philip Morris’ latest tobacco product

January 29, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philip Morris International is promoting IQOS, its new “heat not burn” tobacco product, all over the world, including in Japan, as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

A 2017 scientific paper tracked four years of Google searches for IQOS and other new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products from other tobacco companies.

When the popular Japanese variety show "Ame Talk" featured IQOS, Google searches for IQOs skyrocketed and stayed much higher than competing products.

This is just the latest example of the power of entertainment media to push tobacco products.

UPDATE: On January 25, 2018, the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee rejected Philip Morris International's claim that IQOS is safer than cigarettes — likely because PMI's own data show IQOS is no safer than cigarettes.

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