21 March 2017
Key scientists from British American Tobacco (BAT) presented their latest research at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Annual Meeting in Florence, Italy earlier this month.
The SRNT is a professional body dedicated solely to supporting nicotine and tobacco research around the globe. Their mission is “to stimulate the generation and dissemination of new knowledge concerning nicotine in all its manifestations”, and their annual meeting is a key event in the tobacco public health calendar.
Dr Chuan Liu, Head of THP Science at BAT, described a new approach for establishing whether tobacco is being combusted or heated in a novel tobacco-heating product (THP). Various THPs are commercially available, and they differ in the way they heat tobacco and in their temperature characteristics. Currently, there is no standard way of assessing whether a product is mainly heating rather than burning tobacco.
“Our five-step approach provides a comprehensive yet practical assessment irrespective of the heating mechanism in the device” explains Dr Liu.
He also presented new data indicating that glo, a THP recently launched by BAT in Japan, has significantly less impact on indoor air quality compared to cigarette smoke.
“These data show reduced toxicant emissions compared to cigarette smoke, which indicates that glo has the potential to considerably reduce exposure to toxicants relative to cigarette smoke” says Dr Liu.
Presenting on the considerations of using citric acid in e-liquids , Dr Sandra Costigan explained how “[including] citric acid in an e-liquid may lead to significant amounts of citraconic and/or itaconic anhydride in vapour, depending on the device”.
These anhydrides are respiratory sensitisers, meaning that they can potentially trigger an allergic reaction upon inhalation. Therefore, use of citric acid in e-liquids needs to be investigated to further understand its potential to form these compounds in vapour.
Dr Krishna Prasad presented new data evaluating the factors associated with e-cigarette use, and initiation of use, amongst current smokers, former smokers and non-smokers over a 6-month period. Amongst both former and current smokers, the study found that the rate of frequent use at 3 and 6 months was similar, whereas e-cigarette use amongst non-smokers was rare. Quit attempts in the past year along with the perceived benefits of stopping smoking, amongst other factors, indicated a capability to predict both intention to initiate and actual use of e-cigarettes in current smokers.
Recent in vitro data from the ongoing analysis of the Vype ePen e-cigarette was showcased by Dr Damien Breheny, comparing the responses induced by aerosols from the ePen with those from aerosols of a reference cigarette (3R4F). The aerosols from the ePen showed little to no activity in any of the in vitro assays conducted, and was significantly less toxic than the smoke from 3R4F cigarettes in the tests conducted across all three studies.
Dr Frazer Lowe presented a poster developing further on some of our award-winning adverse outcome pathway (AOP) work . This AOP, outlining the sequence of molecular events leading to hypertension, may aid in the toxicological risk assessment of next-generation nicotine products, reducing the need for animal testing. The aim of the work was to understand whether exposure to toxicants in cigarette smoke (a known inducer of vascular oxidative stress and hypertension) led to measurable perturbations in the key events outlined within the AOP.
Other BAT contributions include a poster based on the recent gene expression paper by Banerjee et al. (2017) , as well as pharmacokinetic data showing that e-cigarettes are effective at delivering nicotine, especially when used by experienced vapers.
All posters presented by BAT at the SRNT can now be downloaded from the bat-science library .
NOTES TO EDITORS
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