Tobacco harm reduction

Quick Navigation

Jump to content Logo
Tobacco harm reduction
Tobacco harm reduction is a public health strategy designed to minimise the negative health impact of smoking.
 
Our purpose is to build A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of our business.

Our unique strategy is designed to capitalise on our vast innovation expertise, emerging evidence, and range of products, so they can be accessed by adult consumers and other interested stakeholders, such as scientists, investors, and public health bodies.


Firstly, we are committed to providing adult consumers with a wide range of enjoyable and less risky* products. Secondly, we make it clear that combustible cigarettes pose serious health risks. And, thirdly, we encourage those smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, to switch completely to scientifically-substantiated, reduced-risk* alternatives.


To further consumer choice, we have three New Categories – Vapour Products, Tobacco Heating Products and Modern Oral Products. All adhere to strict product quality standards, undergoing thousands of hours of testing before they reach the consumer.

 
Dabid O'Reilly
Dr David O’Reilly
Director, Scientific Research
Our world-class and transparent science means consumers can understand and trust in the performance, quality, and harm reduction potential of our products.
 
What is tobacco harm reduction?
Tobacco harm reduction is a public health strategy to minimise the negative health impact of conventional cigarettes. It recognises the important role that alternative sources of nicotine with lower health risks offer to smokers who may not otherwise want or choose to give up. We’re clear that we are shifting towards a reduced-risk* portfolio, built on outstanding products, informed consumer choice, and underpinned by world-class science.
 
Vapour products
Vapour Products

There is growing consensus among many members of the public health community and academics about the role of vapour products as a reduced-risk*† alternative to smoking. This is supported by a wealth of other evidence reviews, studies and reports throughout the world1. In the UK, for example, Public Health England has published a series of expert reviews of the latest evidence, drawing on peer-reviewed literature, surveys and other reports, concluding: “based on current knowledge, vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking”.

 
Tobacco heating products
Tobacco Heating Products

By heating tobacco rather than burning, THPs have the potential to be reduced risk* compared to smoking. Although most research has been conducted by the industry, an increasing number of independent reports are broadly aligned with our findings and support the role of THPs as a less risky* alternative. For example, a study commissioned by the UK Department of Health in 2017 found that people using THPs were exposed to around 50–90% less of the “harmful and potentially harmful” compounds compared with conventional cigarettes2.

In 2018, Public Health England, while highlighting the need for more research, found that “compared with cigarettes, heated tobacco products are likely to expose users and bystanders to lower levels of particulate matter, and harmful and potentially harmful compounds3.” More long-term studies are needed which is why we launched our year-long clinical study to evaluate the reduced-risk potential of glo, our flagship THP. The six-month data show that smokers who switched exclusively to glo significantly reduced their exposure to some of the most harmful cigarette smoke toxicants, some to a level found in participants who had stopped smoking entirely4.

 
Modern oral products
Modern Oral Products

A wealth of epidemiological evidence from Sweden over many decades shows that use of snus, a type of traditional oral tobacco, is substantially less risky than smoking. This has been confirmed by the US FDA which, in 2019, formally recognised that switching completely from cigarettes to a snus product can lower the risks of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema and chronic bronchitis5. Our own research has shown that our Modern Oral Products have even fewer and lower levels of toxicants than observed in snus, and toxicological studies have shown that modern oral products have even lower impact on human cells than snus6. ** We are confident that further research will support our belief that consumers of modern oral products will be exposed to even fewer toxicants than snus users and modern oral products can be expected to present lower risk than continued cigarette smoking.

References
*Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without agency clearance.
*Comparison based on an assessment of smoke from a scientific standard reference cigarette (approximately 9 mg tar) and components released during use of a commercial snus (tobacco) pouch and a Velo (nicotine) pouch, in terms of the average of the nine harmful components WHO recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke.
1. House of Commons. Science and technology – seventh report. March 6. 2005. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/ cmselect/cmsctech/96/9602.htm.
2. Committees on Toxicity, Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, CONSUMER Products and the Environment (COT, COC and COM). Statement on the toxicological evaluation of novel heat-not-burn tobacco products. December, 2017.
https:// cot.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/heat_not_burn_tobacco_ statement.pdf.
3. McNeill A, Brose LS, Calder R, Bauld L, Robson D. Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018. A report commissioned by Public Health England. London: Public Health England, 2018.
4. Gale N, McEwan M, Camacho OM, et al (2020). Changes in biomarkers of exposure on switching from a conventional cigarette to the glo tobacco heating product: a randomized, controlled ambulatory study. Nicotine Tob Res 2021; 16: 584-591. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntaa135.
5. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA grants first-ever modified risk orders to eight smokeless tobacco products. October 22, 2019. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fdagrants-first-ever-modified-risk-orders-eight-smokeless-tobaccoproducts.
6. Bishop E, East N, Bozhilova S, et al. An approach for the extract generation and toxicological assessment of tobacco-free ‘modern’ oral nicotine pouches. Food Chem Toxicol 2020; 145: 111713. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111713
 
 
Insights
  • Meet our scientists
    Behind the Microscope
    Meet our scientists
  • Take a look at our latest press releases
    News & Features
    Take a look at our latest press releases
  • Find out more about our open and transparent approach
    Science Engagement
    Find out more about our open and transparent approach
  • Dr David O'Reilly shares his thoughts on science, COVID-19, and harm reduction
    Director's View
    Dr David O'Reilly shares his thoughts on science, COVID-19, and harm reduction
  • Explore our Quarterly Science Update
    Report
    Explore our Quarterly Science Update
  • Read our latest Science & Innovation Report
    Report
    Read our latest Science & Innovation Report
/
 
max
xlarge
large
medium
small
mobile