Tobacco company faces court over HEETS product

Tobacco company Philip Morris is facing charges laid by the Ministry of Health over a new battery-powered tobacco product.

The product heats tobacco sticks in a battery-powered device rather than burning them.

The device itself is not illegal, but the tobacco sticks, known as HEETS, are illegal as they're classified as tobacco products designed for oral use rather than smoking.

University of Otago's Professor Janet Hoek said there's limited research on the product.

"Before any new tobacco products are introduced to New Zealand, we need clear evidence that these will contribute to the Smokefree2025 goal," she said.

"That is, new products should have to demonstrate they support complete smoking cessation more effectively than existing cessation options."

A case has been set down for next month.

Newshub.