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Oct 16, 2017

Anti-poverty marches will take place throughout Belgium on Tuesday - including two in Brussels -...

Oct 16, 2017

A rapid response team for handling accidents in Brussels' ageing road tunnels will now not be rea...

Oct 16, 2017

Monday's temperature in Brussels was the highest ever seen so late in the year, the Belgian Royal...

Oct 16, 2017

Police arrested about 50 of the migrants camping in Maximilian Park in the Brussels’ canal distri...

Health groups call for ban on new e-cigarette

Aug 11, 2017

Health organisations have issued a warning about the dangers associated with smoking a new kind of electronic cigarette, in which tobacco is heated rather than burned.

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris has launched the IQOS, referred to as a “heatstick”, in a number of European countries, claiming that fewer harmful substances are released when the tobacco is only heated.

The Flemish Institute for Health Promotion and Sickness Prevention (Vigez) and other organisations, including cancer fund Kom op tegen kanker, have written an open letter to public health minister Maggie De Block, De Standaard reports.

“The introduction of these heatsticks is a commercial strategy by the tobacco producer to make more profit, improve its image and circumvent tobacco legislation,” they said.

According to the organisations, nicotine is quickly released when using the product, which makes it very addictive, just like cigarettes. An IQOS cigarette dose is used up after five minutes, creating the urge to smoke another.

The organisations are more in favour of standard e-cigarettes as an alternatives to cigarettes. The IQOS contains tobacco, while smokers of e-cigarettes inhale vapours from a liquid that contains nicotine and other substances.

The quantity of nicotine can be adjusted with an e-cigarette, which is not the case for the IQOS.

They have called on De Block to ban the IQOS until independent studies show that it is safe for users and bystanders. The IQOS is not yet available in shops in Belgium but can be bought online.

Photo courtesy Phillip Morris

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