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Heat sticks greenlighted; planetary warming red-flagged

What scares me about technology sometimes is just this idea that innovation requires revolution. I think sometimes there’s an overemphasis on what we’re able to do rather than what the world needs. — Brynn Putnam, founder and CEO of Mirror

This is one global warming that is not alarming.

Now, people can truly enjoy the merry mist of the season with peace of mind.

Why not if they have the health and safety assurance of Uncle Sam?

If it’s good enough for Americans, it should also be for Filipinos.

To begin with, the Yanks have far tougher health and safety safeguards in force.

So, go ahead, puff away.

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a premarket tobacco product authorization for the new version of an electrically-heated tobacco system, confirming that the device is “appropriate for the protection of public health” and authorizing it for sale in the United States.

The IQOS 3, made by Philip Morris International and already available in many countries outside the US, including the Philippines, contains a number of technological advancements, compared to a previously authorized IQOS device, including longer battery life and quicker recharge between uses.

IQOS is a smoke-free alternative to cigarettes for adult smokers 21 years old and above. The IQOS HeatControl™ Technology heats tobacco instead of burning it. Thus, IQOS produces no smoke and no ash.

IQOS devices use a patented heat-control technology that heats tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper under the brand HEETS, without burning them, to release water-based aerosol, instead of smoke. When using IQOS, the aerosol dissipates more quickly than cigarette smoke.

This year, PMFTC Inc., an affiliate of PMI, opened IQOS stores in Metro Manila carrying PMI’s line of smoke-free products, devices, heat sticks and a full range of accessories, to provide better alternatives to the 16 million adult Filipino smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine-containing products.

PMI chief executive officer André Calantzopoulos welcomed the US FDA’s decision to authorize IQOS 3 for sale in the US, describing it as another important step forward for the tens of millions of American men and women who currently smoke.

“In just five years, approximately 11.7 million people around the world have stopped smoking and switched to IQOS, and we believe bringing a more modern version of IQOS to the U.S. will only accelerate switching by adults who smoke.” Calantzopoulos said.

He said the US FDA order is subject to the same comprehensive commercialization requirements set in the April 2019 PMTA marketing orders for IQOS 2.4, which aim to maximize the opportunity for adults to switch from cigarettes while minimizing unintended use.

“We, along with our licensee Altria, are committed to guarding against unintended use and fully support FDA’s focus on protecting youth,” he said.

The US FDA first issued PMTA marketing orders for IQOS 2.4 and three HeatStick variants on April 30, 2019. This month’s marketing order for IQOS 3 is generally subject to the same commercialization requirements set in the April 2019 PMTA marketing orders.

The PMTA process is separate from the modified risk tobacco product process, which is the path for authorizing the commercialization of a tobacco product with modified risk claims.

PMI received MRTP marketing authorizations for the IQOS 2.4 device and three HeatStick variants on July 7, 2020, with a modified exposure claim.

The US FDA, in its latest decision, said that based on the international survey data it reviewed, the agency found no evidence of increased uptake of IQOS by youth or young adults, while use patterns available for a previously authorized version of IQOS within the US have not raised new concerns regarding product use in youth and young adults.

The FDA authorization to market IQOS 3 through the PMTA is independent of the MRTP authorization for the IQOS 2.4 device. PMI said it intends to submit an MRTP application for the IQOS 3 device in the future.

IQOS is specifically aimed at adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. To prevent the youth from having access to IQOS, PMFTC said it is implementing age verification and access restriction to ensure that only legal age consumers 21 years old and above will have access to the stores, the e-commerce website and the IQOS products.

PMI has invested more than $7 billion on research, development and production capabilities to develop smoke-free products such as IQOS.

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“Between a rock and a hard place” barely scratches the surface of the sticky situation the country and the rest of the world are in – simultaneously and mightily trying to wrestle down a global pandemic and address planetary warming.

“Protecting communities in climate-vulnerable countries like the Philippines must become a global effort. Our present challenges are previews of what other countries will face if the climate crisis worsens.”

In his pre-recorded keynote speech delivered during the online launch of the World Bank’s December 2020 edition of its Philippine Economic Update, Finnce Sec. Carlos Dominguez stressed that unlike Covid-19, in which vaccine development continues to make headway, there is no quick fix to the warming of the planet.

Makati City Pabakuna

“The effects of the climate emergency will be disastrous over the coming years unless we find the courage and resolve to undertake the measures needed to reverse it,” Domnguez said. “All nations and international stakeholders must raise cooperation on the climate crisis to the highest level.”

The United Nations over the weekend urged leaders to declare a global climate emergency and chart greener growth after the coronavirus pandemic, as nations took gloomy stock five years since the landmark Paris Agreement.

Commitments made in Paris in 2015 were already “far from enough” to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his opening address to a virtual “Climate Ambition Summit” addressed by more than 70 leaders, .

“If we don’t change course, we may be headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3.0 degrees this century,” Guterres said.

“That is why today, I call on all leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached,” he added, arguing the recovery from Covid-19 presented a rare opportunity to recalibrate growth.

But the planet is still headed to warm more than three degrees Celsius by the century’s end despite a dip in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the pandemic and pledges to curb pollution, a UN agencysaid.

The UN Environment Programme found that this year’ seven-percent fall in carbon pollution would have “negligible impact” on warming without an extensive, swift, and protracted deviation from fossil fuels.

A UNEP report found that a “green recovery” from the pandemic, in which emerging net-zero pledges are accelerated, could shave 25 percent off of emissions by 2030.

This would bring the world closer to levels needed to curb warming to 2C under the Paris climate deal.

With just over 1C of warming since pre-industrial times, Earth is already experiencing more frequent and intense droughts, seemingly incontrollable wildfires, and monster storms made deadlier by rising ocean levels.

Last year, UNEP said emissions must fall 7.6 percent yearly until 2030 to keep the more ambitious Paris temperature goal of 1.5C in place.

While emissions are likely to fall broadly in step with that rate, it took a previously unrecorded slowdown in commerce, industry, and travel to achieve.

Experts fear that a carbon emissions bounce-back is almost a done deal next year.

Emissions last year stood at an equivalent of 59.1 gigatons of CO2 — a 2.6-percent increase compared with 2018, largely driven by an increase in forest fires, UNEP said.

Closer to home, Dominguez said the country was able to squarely meet the challenges of Covid-19 and other emergencies owing to its fiscal and economic stamina.

“Even as we have to spend more for our Covid-19 and disaster response efforts, we will continue exercising fiscal discipline to ensure the resilience of our economy. We do not know when the next health crisis or disaster will be, but we know that it will come. We must be prepared,” he pointed out.

To ensure that Filipinos “will not just survive, but thrive in a new and resilient economy that (the Duterte administration) is building” amid a worsening climate crisis, Dominguez said the government is pursuing the following measures:

* declaring a moratorium on endorsements for greenfield coal power plants and liberalized foreign investments in the geothermal sector;

* ramping up infrastructure spending and pushing structural reforms that will improve the business environment, foster competition, reduce trade costs, fast-track the digitalization of the economy and strengthen the country’s resilience to natural disasters;

* adopting an effective management of the country’s food supply by the Department of Agriculture and continued implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law to ensure food security;

* hastening the modernization of agriculture to boost the sector’s resilience against future emergencies; and

* deploying financial tools to build resiliency and widen financial inclusion from the household to the national levels through the increased use of modern technologies.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.

Publication Source :    People's Journal