NEWS TIP: UofL harm reduction expert says FDA approval of tobacco system as useful for smoking cessation is “good news for Americans”

    Brad Rodu, D.D.S.
    Brad Rodu, D.D.S.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On July 7, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Philip Morris International’s IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco product system status as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP). Specifically, the agency approved PMI’s claim that “Switching completely from cigarettes to the IQOS system significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.”

    “This is good news for Americans who have been unable or unwilling to quit smoking,” said Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine and Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research at the University of Louisville.

    “IQOS is now available in 52 markets worldwide. The company estimates that there are 13.6 million users, 71 percent of whom have stopped smoking completely. This broad international experience indicates that IQOS will succeed in the U.S., although the product is currently available only in Atlanta and Richmond. And it’s desperately needed. Since PMI’s MRTP submission in November 2016, approximately 1.8 million Americans have died from smoking-attributable diseases.  An FDA advisory committee unanimously endorsed PMI’s exposure claim in 2018,” Rodu said.

    For 25 years, Rodu has published research on tobacco harm reduction, involving the adoption of smoke-free tobacco products by smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit with conventional cessation methods. To interview Rodu, contact Betty Coffman at 502-475-5727 or


    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.