15 May 2020

The best single step a smoker can take to reduce their personal risk of harm is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Those who would continue smoking should consider switching to a smoke-free alternative. How do smokers learn about these alternatives? Dr. Gizelle Baker, Director Global Scientific Engagement, discusses the importance of communicating product information, using our experience in the U.S. as an example.

Dr. Baker: One of the most important things to get smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to these products is to make them aware of the product, how the product works, and what the product is for.

We've had to make big efforts in every country, especially with regulations being so different from market to market, on what you as a tobacco company can share with consumers. 

So recently, in the U.S., the FDA has authorized our product, a heated tobacco product, for sale [authorized on 30 April 2019, shortly before recording]. Which  means they received enough information to consider this product something that could be marketed in the U.S. for the protection of public health. 

They also realize it's going to be important that consumers understand the product. They actually have a video on their website describing what the product is, how it's used, and why they authorized it. So that people in the U.S. can start seeing it not just from the tobacco industry, but from the authority that authorized it.

Smoke-free products are for adult smokers who would otherwise continue smoking. They are not risk-free and contain nicotine, which is addictive. The best choice any smoker can make is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether.