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It does not burn the tobacco, so some of the chemicals present in cigarette smoke are not in the glo aerosol, and others are greatly reduced. This is indicative of reduced-risk potential, but does not necessarily mean this product is less harmful than other tobacco products.
Let’s see how glo performed when put to the test by our scientists.
Behavioural studies can help us understand how people use glo. Puffing on a product like glo might seem simple but it involves a number of separate actions all of which may affect what the consumer is exposed to when they use glo. We have performed 44 different kinds of studies to help us understand how consumers use the product.
We performed a series of tests looking at how consumers use glo and compared this to how smokers use combustible cigarettes.
Our results show that smokers and glo consumers use their products in slightly different ways.
We use the results obtained to inform how we program our puffing robots in the lab. In this way, we ensure that we produce the glo aerosol in as realistic a way as possible for further analysis and studies. This means we can be confident in the results we get when we test the glo aerosol.
Chemistry tests tell us what’s in the aerosol produced by glo. This is important because it will determine what a person is exposed to when they use glo. We have performed 164 chemistry tests, which have shown us that some toxicants found in smoke are not in glo aerosol at all. Several others are much reduced by as much as around 90-95%*.
We performed a series of chemical tests designed to determine how the glo aerosol compares to smoke and whether certain toxicants known to be in smoke are present in the glo aerosol.
Our results reveal the glo aerosol to have fewer and lower levels of certain toxicants than cigarette smoke. Many toxicants found in smoke are not in glo vapour at all and others are much reduced – by around 90-95%*.
Our results confirm the simple composition of the glo aerosol, compared to smoke. glo consumers should, in theory therefore, be exposed to less toxicants than smokers.
*Comparison of smoke from a 3R4F reference cigarette (approx. 9 mg tar) and vapour from heated tobacco in glo, in terms of the 9 harmful components the World Health Organization recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke. This quality does not necessarily mean this product is less harmful than other tobacco products.
Biological tests tell us what the glo aerosol does to human cells in the lab and how that compares to what smoke does to cells. We already know from chemical testing that the glo aerosol contains less harmful chemicals than smoke. In theory therefore, cells exposed to the glo aerosol should experience less toxicity compared to smoke. We performed 75 tests to determine if this is the case.
We use living human cells in the lab as models for tissues and organs in the body. We test the impact of the glo aerosol on these cells and compare it to the impact of smoke.
Cells exposed to smoke exhibit many responses relevant to disease development, whereas those cells exposed to glo aerosol either exhibit much lower responses or no response at all*.
Our results confirm that the glo aerosol has a much reduced or no impact on human cells in the lab compared to smoke – depending on the test used. This quality does not necessarily mean this product is less harmful than other tobacco products, but may add to growing evidence that glo has the potential to be reduced risk compared to conventional cigarettes.
*Comparison of smoke from a 1R6F reference cigarette and aerosol from glo, in terms of mutagenicity, genotoxicity, cytotoxicity and tumour-promoting potential.
Clinical studies help us understand the impact glo can have on people. We already know from biological testing that the glo aerosol has little or no impact on human cells in the lab compared to cigarette smoke. This is a positive result, but cells are not people. We have therefore conducted 46 different studies to help us understand the impact of glo on the human body.
Clinical studies involve real consumers – often hundreds in one study alone. These consumers are monitored over a set period of time whilst using our products, and we collect readings for certain chemicals in urine, blood, saliva and breath samples. These readings can then be compared to the readings for consumers in the study who smoke traditional cigarettes.
A number of short-term studies revealed that glo can deliver nicotine efficiently to the consumer. We have also seen that switching completely from smoking to glo can significantly reduce a person’s exposure to certain harmful chemicals. Our 12-month glo study is underway, with results expected in 2020. We are investigating what impact switching from cigarettes to glo in a real-world setting will have on markers of smoking-related disease development.
Effectively delivering nicotine could make glo a viable alternative to a cigarette. Reducing exposure to harmful chemicals when smokers switch to glo does not necessarily mean this product is less harmful than other tobacco products, but may be an indicator of reduced risk potential.
Population studies help us understand how glo might impact public health. Products like glo are new, and there is not a lot of information about their health effects. It took decades of use of cigarettes to fully appreciate their health effects. Rather than waiting decades, we are developing a computer modelling approach to assess whether making products like glo available to smokers could have a beneficial effect on public health.
We are developing a mathematical model to investigate the impact of the availability of glo, a tobacco heating product, on public health.
We will use this model to determine the public health impact of whether making glo available to smokers can help reduce smoking prevalence, provides a stepping stone towards quitting smoking, and/or increase smokers’ likelihood of quitting – all of which could result in an overall positive effect on public health.
We are currently collecting data in Japan, where glo is on the market. We aim to publish our results this year.
We hope that our results will add to the growing evidence that glo has the potential to be reduced risk compared to conventional cigarettes.
Behavioural science tests
Behavioural studies can help us understand how people use glo
Chemistry tests tell us what’s in the aerosol produced by glo
Biological tests tell us what the glo aerosol does to human cells in the lab and how that compares to what smoke does to cells
Clinical studies help us understand the impact glo has on people
glo has around 90-95% less toxicants than cigarettes*