The tobacco company Philip Morris wants to take tobacco cigarettes off the market in the medium term.

As an alternative, he offers smokers tobacco heaters, which are sold under the Iqos name.

In them, the tobacco is heated and not burned, which the group believes should be less harmful to health because fewer pollutants are released when the tobacco is heated.

But the tobacco company could have done the math without the bureaucrats in Brussels.

The EU Commission is considering a ban on tobacco heaters.

The EU Commission, which is responsible for legislative initiatives, proposed on Wednesday to ban electronic devices for consuming tobacco or flavored nicotine.

The reason is an increase in the sale of such devices, which accounted for 2.5 percent of sales of all tobacco products in the entire EU.

"As nine out of ten lung cancers are caused by tobacco, we want to make smoking as unattractive as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives," said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

It is necessary to keep up with the flow of new tobacco products onto the market, particularly to protect younger people.

The EU states and the European Parliament can now comment on the proposal.

The ban comes into effect automatically unless they opt out.

About a year after coming into force it would apply in EU countries.