Tobacco: a government ban frustrated a US$ 300 million investment

The company Massalin Individualswhich markets in Argentina the brands Marlboro and Philip Morris, deactivated an investment of US$ 300 million ante the resolution of the national government of ban marketing of heated tobacco products and its devices, because it had the intention of expanding its business in the country linked to the development of that sector. The decision was made one day after the official announcement and served as a response to the “surprising” measure taken by the Ministry of Health.

The decision of the Ministry of Health is detrimental to investment, science and technology. Argentina had the possibility of being considered for an investment of more than 300 million dollars, and create hundreds of registered, blank and quality jobs. However, this type of isolated initiatives and not based on science and data continue to deteriorate both genuine private and direct investment and the strategic position of Argentina as a place to do business,” the company said, through a press release. .

From the firm, affiliated with the American PMI, they warned that falling investments will cost you to the Government not only the absence of generation of new jobs, but also “would have given the possibility of carrying out exports for more than 100 million dollars annual”. The project included a expansion at its plant in Merloprovince of Buenos Aires, to be able to make alternative products to the conventional cigarette based on science and marketed in more than 70 markets”, highlighted the press release.

Massalin’s complaint Private individuals: “It isolates Argentina from the world”

The investment announcement was about to be made, according to business sources consulted by PROFILE, but it was truncated without seeing the light, due to the “surprising” measure of Health. Thus, the firm exposed a lack of dialogue between the State and the sector. “Beyond the impact on the investment project, the decision restricts the possibility of providing the 7 million adult smokers that there are different alternatives to the conventional cigarette in the country, based on science and authorized by different agencies and health authorities around the world. This is a resolution that isolates Argentina from the advances in the world in this sectorMassalin maintained.

The Ministry of Health prohibited the sale and advertising of tobacco heaters due to harmful effects

According to the company’s version, heated tobacco products and their devices for heating them “They represent an alternative for the more than 1,000 million adults who smoke around the world”. “Thanks to investment, innovation and technology development, these devices allow tobacco to be heated instead of burned and thus eliminate combustion, which is the main problem related to smoking,” they clarified.

Philip Morris International comercializa el IQOSa device heating of heated tobacco productin 73 markets and has more than 24 million users worldwide. “Throughout the world, today alternatives that heat tobacco instead of burning it are a trend and are being regulated accordingly and not being prohibited like in Argentina. These types of decisions isolate Argentine society from technology and developments available in other markets,” the company lamented.

The background in the world on electronic cigarettes

Massalin clarified that, in United Statesthe Food and Drug Administration (FDA), authorized the marketing of Philip Morris International’s IQOS in 2019 and a year later imposed legends to identify it as a modified risk product: “According to the evidence available to date: The IQOS system heats the tobacco but does not burn it“, “This significantly reduces the production of harmful chemical components and potentially harmful”, and “scientific studies have shown that switching completely from conventional cigarettes to the IQOS system reduces your body’s exposure to harmful chemicals or potentially harmful”.

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Another example, highlighted by the company, is the case of United Kingdomin which the country’s Health Agency concluded that: “Compared to cigarettes, heated tobacco products have the potential to expose users to lower levels of harmful chemicals and potentially harmful.

In Latin America there is the case of Uruguaywhere a few months ago through a decree recognized the differential character of heated tobacco products and framed them within the current tobacco regulations. The regulation indicates that “there are electronic devices for the administration of nicotine that use a technology by means of which dry tobacco is heated, with respect to which there is scientific data that indicates that they result in less exposure of users to the associated toxic substances.” to traditional tobacco use.

The resolution of Health counts electronic cigarettes

He Ministry of Health of the Nation prohibited the import, sale and advertising of electronic devices used to inhale tobacco vapors. Among their arguments they claim that they contain toxic substances like nicotinetry to replace conventional cigarettes claiming that do not burn and are attractive to children and adolescents.

The news was announced on the morning of this Monday, March 27 and entered into force the following day, according to Resolution 565/2023, published in the Official Gazette with the signature of the minister. Carla Vizzotti.

“The importation, distribution, commercialization, advertising and any form of promotion and sponsorship throughout the Argentine territory of electronic systems or devices intended for inhaling tobacco vapors or aerosols, commonly referred to as “Heated Tobacco Products”, extending said Prohibition of all types of accessories intended for the operation of said systems or devices, as well as cartridges and tobacco bars to be heated in said systems”, the resolution expresses in its central paragraph.


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