March 31, 2017 / 3:37 PM / 4 months ago

Philip Morris asks for FDA nod to sell heated tobacco device

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FILE PHOTO: A Marlboro cigarettes pack, a brand of Philip Morris Tobacco, lies next to an empty coffee cup at a cafe in central Sydney June 27, 2011.Daniel Munoz/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Philip Morris International said on Friday it has applied for pre-market approval of its iQOS heated tobacco product with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The world's largest international tobacco maker, owner of the Marlboro brand, said that if the FDA grants its request, its U.S. affiliate, Altria Group, would be responsible for selling the device in the United States through a licensing agreement.

The device heats tobacco enough to create a vapor without burning it, which the company believes makes it less harmful than cigarettes.

It has so far sold more than 3 million iQOS devices in Japan. It began nationwide sales there in April last year after test marketing in major cities.

Philip Morris had stated that it planned to submit the U.S. approval application during the first quarter of 2017.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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