Harm reduction

It’s simple; we want to reduce the public health impact of our products.

Why could certain tobacco and nicotine products be potentially reduced risk compared with conventional cigarettes?

We’ve long been clear about the fact that conventional cigarettes pose serious health risks and the only way to avoid those risks is not to use them.

It is now widely acknowledged that most of the harm associated with smoking is down to the toxicants in the smoke produced when the tobacco in the cigarette is burned.

So, products that don’t burn tobacco could have the potential to produce fewer and lower levels of toxicants compared with conventional cigarettes

Harm reduction

Despite the serious health risks, many people continue to smoke conventional cigarettes.

No tobacco or nicotine product is 100% safe and anyone wanting to be totally risk free shouldn’t use them.

It is now widely acknowledged that most of the harm associated with smoking is down to the toxicants in the smoke produced when the tobacco in the cigarette is burned.

However, the principle of harm reduction is that, compared with continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes, it is better to switch to products that could be potentially reduced-risk.

Our global commitment to harm reduction is reflected in our commitment to offer adult smokers a range of potentially reduced-risk products.

We have developed a five-step framework  to evaluate the reduced-risk potential of some of our potentially reduced-risk products (PRRPs), relative to smoking cigarettes. We are open about our research and we publish the results of our studies on our bat-science  website and submit them to peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Tobacco heating products

Tobacco heating productA series of tests conducted by BAT scientists assessed the reduced-risk potential of glo – which heats rather than burns tobacco – compared with conventional cigarettes.

Using data from chemical and biological tests, our scientists assessed glo in terms of the number and levels of toxicants in the aerosol that it releases and the biological impact on human and other cells in a laboratory compared with cigarette smoke.

The tests found that toxicant levels in vapour from glo were significantly reduced compared with smoke from a conventional reference cigarette. They also showed that glo vapour, compared with cigarette smoke, had a much reduced or no biological impact on cells in a laboratory, depending on the test.

Vapour products

Vapour productWe’ve developed a framework of scientific tests to assess the reduced-risk potential of vapour products, relative to smoking cigarettes. Our series of scientific papers for Vype ePen, published in 2017, provide a comprehensive dossier of scientific data on this vapour product.

The results of our studies provide evidence that suggests Vype ePen has the potential to be reduced risk compared with conventional cigarettes.

Our preclinical studies demonstrated the relatively simple composition of Vype ePen vapour compared

There have been a number of independent reports and studies on vaping. In 2017, the British Medical Association published a position paper on e-cigarettes, in which it said: “There are clear potential benefits to their use in reducing the substantial harms associated with smoking, and a growing consensus that they are significantly less harmful than tobacco use.”

Similarly, a review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a US-based organisation of leading researchers which analysed the results of more than 800 identified peer-reviewed scientific studies, concluded that “while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely to be far less harmful” than conventional cigarettes.

Oral tobacco and nicotine products

Oral tobaccoOral tobacco and nicotine products provide a further opportunity for smokers to switch to potentially reduced-risk products. There are indications that the use of oral tobacco and nicotine products such as snus has had a positive effect on lessening the impact of smoking on public health.

Having been in use for decades, there is well-established epidemiological evidence to determine the long-term health risks of these type of products. A number of independent health studies have shown Swedish-style snus to be significantly less harmful than smoking.

Already our chemical studies have shown that our modern oral products have even fewer and lower levels of toxicants than snus, and our toxicological studies have shown that the effect of this is to have even lower toxicological impact on human cells than snus.