Heat-not-burn cigarette alternative faces US scrutiny

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Government scientists say a device that heats tobacco without burning it reduces some of the harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes, but it's unclear if that translates into lower rates of disease for smokers who switch.

U.S. regulators published a mixed review Monday of the cigarette alternative from Philip Morris International. The company hopes to market the electronic device as the first "reduced-risk" tobacco product sanctioned by the U.S. government.

The penlike device, called iQOS, heats strips of Marlboro-branded tobacco but stops short of burning them, producing a tobacco vapor that includes nicotine. It's already sold in more than 30 countries.

Later this week, a panel of government advisers will consider whether the device can be sold in the U.S.

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