Toxicant levels are around 90% less in glo™ emissions compared to cigarette smoke

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Toxicant levels are around 90% less in glo™ emissions compared to cigarette smoke
News release

25 October 2017

Toxicant levels in vapour from glo™ were found to be around 90%* less than in cigarette smoke.  gloTM, a tobacco-heating product, heats rather than burns tobacco and operates at much lower temperatures than a lit cigarette (approximately 240̊C versus 900̊C when you burn a cigarette).

‘Our studies on glo™ reveal that this product produces significantly lower levels of harmful or potentially harmful components compared to a cigarette,’ says Dr James Murphy, Head of Reduced Risk Substantiation at British American Tobacco.  ‘The vapour produced was found to have significantly reduced numbers and lower levels of toxicants compared to cigarette smoke, and so it should in principle expose consumers to much less toxicants,’ he says.

It is the toxicants in smoke that cause most smoking-related diseases.

Scientists at British American Tobacco analysed and compared the vapour from glo™ – a commercially available tobacco heating product (THP) – and smoke from a reference cigarette (3R4F) and found substantial reductions in the glo™ emissions for all smoke toxicant groups measured. Most cigarette smoke toxicants could not be detected in the glo™ vapour. 

‘This comprehensive chemical assessment is part of a science-based approach that we have developed to demonstrate the reduced-risk potential of THPs and other next generation products relative to smoking cigarettes,’ says Murphy. ‘We believe that such an approach is essential to communicating to consumers and regulators that the available information on our products is based on sound, evidence-based science,’ he says.

The scientists set out to measure 126 substances, including toxicants that have been identified by Health Canada, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) as harmful or potentially harmful to health, and other compounds produced by burning tobacco. 

A smoking robot was used to generate smoke or vapour in the laboratory in a way that mimics realistic use of the products. Air samples were also produced with which to compare the smoke and vapour.

An analysis of the emissions showed that glo™ produces a much simpler aerosol than cigarettes (Figures 1 and 2).  glo™ emitted over 95%* less, on average, of 102 of 126 compounds that could be measured, compared to smoke. For the nine toxicants that the WHO proposes for lowering in cigarette smoke, the overall average reduction was 97.1%*, while for the 18 requiring mandatory reporting by the FDA, it was 97.5%*.  Twenty-four substances could not be detected/quantified in the glo™ emissions, smoke or both. 

The findings add to a body of evidence that could be used to support glo™ as a potential reduced-risk product compared to conventional cigarettes.

The results are published today in a special issue of the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 

Figure 1. Filter pads with glo™ aerosol (top) and smoke from a reference cigarette (bottom).

Figure 2. gloTM (top) produces a much simpler aerosol containing less compounds than cigarettes (bottom)



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