Doubt cast on 'safer' tobacco vaporiser
Advocacy groups are casting doubt over claims a new kind of cigarette called Iqos is less harmful than traditional tobacco products.
Big tobacco company Philip Morris has reportedly invested US$3bn (€2.8bn) on developing the technology.
It works like a vaporiser, by heating tobacco without burning it. The company claims the vapour still contains nicotine, but has 10pc less harmful ingredients.
But the Asthma Society of Ireland has pointed to claims made in the past by the tobacco industry, to raise concerns over these 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 organisation Averil Power said.
"Tobacco companies will do and say anything to sell their products," she added.
Donal Buggy, head of services and advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society, backed the scepticism.
"There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. The only safe level of consumption of cigarettes is none whatsoever," he said.