This undated image provided by Philip Morris in January 2018 shows the company's iQOS product. The device heats tobacco sticks but stops short of burning them, an approach that Philip Morris says reduces exposure to tar and other toxic byproducts of burning cigarettes. This is different from e-cigarettes, which don’t use tobacco at all but instead vaporize liquid usually containing nicotine. (Philip Morris via AP)
INTERNATIONAL - In a decision expected to test the Trump administration’s approach to tobacco regulation, US health advisers will vote this week on whether to allow Philip Morris International to sell its novel iQOS tobacco device and claim it is less harmful than cigarettes. 

The sleekly packaged little tube would not look out of place in an Apple store. 

It is designed to heat tobacco, but not burn it. Most of the harmful chemicals in tobacco are released when tobacco is burned. 

The advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will discuss the product tomorrow and Thursday and recommend whether it should be cleared. The FDA is not obliged to follow the recommendations of its outside advisers. 

If cleared, iQOS would become the first product to carry a modified-risk claim. 

- REUTERS