Science & Innovation

Update

Volume 4
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Investing in science to deliver A Better TomorrowTM

Investing in science and generating new data and evidence to support our alternative tobacco and nicotine products are a priority at BAT.  Sharing this evidence is essential for Tobacco Harm Reduction to be a reality and have maximum impact. We know that smokers need easy-to-understand information about the risks associated with smoking. They also need to know about the less risky* options that may be available to them, such as vapour, tobacco heating, and modern oral products. We are committed to carrying out scientific research and openly sharing the results so that consumers, regulators, and the Tobacco Harm Reduction community have access to reliable, relevant and robust evidence.

Vaping versus smoking: Our innovative new study of Vuse

To accelerate the delivery of A Better TomorrowTM by reducing the health impact of our business, we continue to make significant investments into research and development and conduct new studies to support the development and substantiation of our reduced-risk* products.

One of these studies is the exciting Vuse Cross-Sectional Study, which we, with the participation of more than 200 volunteers, recently completed. Details of the innovative study design have been published in the Journal of Health and Environmental Research.

This innovative study demonstrates our commitment to researching the reduced-risk potential of our New Category products. What makes it particularly relevant and exciting is that the results generated are from people who have been using Vuse as they normally would for more than six months prior to testing.

Dr Sharon Goodall
Group Head of Regulatory Science

Vuse: the number one global vaping brandi

Vuse is BAT’s flagship vapour brand and includes products such as ePod 2 and ePen 3. All Vuse products undergo thousands of hours of testing by scientists and R&D experts before they reach consumers.

image of a vuse pen on its side

Watch an interview with Dr Sharon Goodall, BAT’s Group Head of Regulatory Science, who talks about the significance of the Vuse cross-sectional study.

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Vuse study design

In this cross-sectional study, the participants were people who had chosen to use Vuse, and had been using the product as they normally would for at least six months before participating in the study.  Participants  made only one visit to a clinic for assessment and the results from the Vuse users were compared to those of current smokers, smokers who have quit for at least six months, and people who have never smoked.

Smoking or vapour usage patterns and overall consumption were not controlled in those entering the study, as the aim was to assess the impact when people using the products did so in their ‘normal’ way rather than in a controlled way.

More than
200
volunteers
At least
6 months
experience of using Vuse
image of a vuse penimage of a vuse pen showing underneath the casingimage of a smaller vuse pen

The participants were:

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Based in
the UK
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Aged between
19-55 years old
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In good
general
health
icon of a vuse pen
Had used Vuse
for at least six
months
01.
Vuse Vapers

(ePod and ePen) for at least 6 months

icon of 3 vuse devices and the words '6+ months' in a circle

There were four different groups enrolled in the study:

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02.
Current smokers

who had been smoking for at least one year prior to screening

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03.
Former smokers

who had quit for at least six months

icon of a pack of cigarettes with a cross through it and the words '6+ months' in a circle
04.
Never smokers

were included to act as a control group

icon of a pack of cigarettes with a cross through it and the word 'Never' in a circle

The biomarkers assessed are important indicators that can be used to demonstrate:

  • Biomarkers of Exposure: A person’s exposure to certain toxicants or chemicalsii
  • Biomarkers of Potential Harm: Indicators of potential harm related to several smoking-related diseases, such as respiratory or cardiovascular diseaseiii
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Assessing ‘lived experience’

Cross-sectional studies like this are important because they capture and assess the ‘lived experience’ of people using a product and provide a ‘snapshot’ of real-world data. Previously, most vapour clinical studies have been longitudinal studies, where people within the study do not choose their product but are instead given or randomly allocated to a particular product in the study. They are then assessed in a controlled setting using pre-specified criteria – for example, instructions on how much or how often to use a product, and over what timeframe.

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A growing body of evidence

This study demonstrates BAT’s focus on science and innovation to deliver A Better TomorrowTM and reduce the health impact of the business. It assesses the potential of our reduced-risk* products to deliver a meaningful difference compared to smoking on important measures of exposure and early indicators of smoking-related disease.

The results of the study, which are currently being analysed, will be published later this year. It is hoped that the results will provide further supportive evidence that switching completely to Vuse could reduce relative risk for certain diseases among adult consumers compared to smoking, adding to the growing body of evidence on Vuse’s potential as a reduced-risk* product.

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a headshot of Sharon Goodall

The results will provide important new insights and show us the differences between Vuse users, smokers and former smokers across a range of important biomarkers thought to be predictive of disease development. We look forward to sharing the data once available.

Dr Sharon Goodall
BAT’s Group Head of Regulatory Science