Tobacco giant Philip Morris is standing by the legality of its new high-tech smoking product.
The Ministry of Health is taking the company to court over the sale of tobacco sticks, known as Heets.
The sticks are heated in an electronic device, producing a vapour, rather than smoke.
Professor Janet Hoek of Aspire 2025 told Mike Hosking claims that Heets are less harmful than traditional products, have yet to be proven.
"What they need to do is to provide evidence to show that actually it is safer than tobacco, and I haven't seen that strong evidence."
Professor Hoek said the product has no place here.
"How's this product going to reduce the 4500 to 5000 deaths smoking causes every single year?"
The Ministry of Health said while the electronic device is legal, the tobacco sticks are not.
LISTEN ABOVE TO PROF JANET HOEK SPEAK WITH MIKE HOSKING