by Dinorah Castillo MSc | 04 May 2016
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On March 2-5, PMI scientists attended The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Annual Meeting. The posters presented showed some of the most recent results on the assessment of PMI Reduced Risk Products (RRPs)*, which is the term we use to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes.

We are currently working on the development and commercialization of a number of RRP platforms. Our RRPs fall into 2 product categories, Heated Tobacco Products and E-Vapor products.

Our first heated tobacco product, the Tobacco Heating System (THS) 2.2, was created to reduce or eliminate the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) formed in the aerosol** compared to cigarette smoke. It works under the principle of heating and not burning tobacco, while preserving as much as possible the taste and sensory experience.

As part of the assessment and global clinical program for THS 2.2, different studies have been conducted. Two of the posters presented, illustrate a significant reduction in the exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents when using the tobacco heating system, compared to smoking cigarettes.  Within the observed results it was also possible to demonstrate a similarity in the selection of clinical risk endpoints when comparing people using THS 2.2 and those abstaining from smoking. Both of these studies were ambulatory and 90 days in duration, with one study conducted in Japan, and the second in the U.S.

One of the challenges of commercializing THS 2.2 resides in the ability to communicate properly the risk profile to adult consumers and evaluate the level of acceptance and adaptation in different countries. As part of this effort, PMI has developed validated methods, such as the Perceived Risk Instrument (PRI) and the Population Health Impact Model (PHIM). The first one quantifies the perceived risk of various types of tobacco and nicotine-containing products in adult smokers and non-smokers. The second quantifies the effects that marketing such products may have on the health of the population as a whole. Part of this is to ensure that the marketing and messaging materials are not appealing to minors, never or ex-smokers and is not seen as an alternative to quitting smoking. Our RRPs are designed specifically for current adult smokers who choose to continue to use tobacco or nicotine containing products. In parallel, we have conducted studies which evaluated adult smokers’ responses to different elements of THS 2.2 as well as the likelihood smokers would switch from cigarettes to THS. Results indicate that participants not only were able to switch from cigarettes to THS 2.2, but that the likelihood of returning to cigarettes is low.        

PMI scientists also presented a poster on the impact of e-cigarettes on indoor air quality. E-cigarettes unlike conventional cigarettes, do not produce smoke, instead they produce an aerosol. Assessing the impact that this aerosol has on indoor air quality (IAQ) is important in order to understand the effect that using e-cigarettes indoor can have for surrounding individuals. After having recreated different environmental conditions in an indoor air quality assessment room, PMI scientists did not find any negative impact on overall indoor air quality when using e-cigarettes.  

The use and creation of validated research and testing methods is crucial to deliver accurate and sustained information for adult smokers, regulators and public health authorities regarding PMI’s Reduced Risk Products and how they differ from conventional cigarettes.

In order to learn more about these studies and their promising results, you can refer to our PMI Science website.      

* Reduced Risk Products (“RRPs”) is the term we use to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes.  PMI’s RRPs are in various stages of development and commercialization, and we are conducting extensive and rigorous scientific studies to determine whether we can support claims for such products of reduced exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents in smoke, and ultimately claims of reduced disease risk, when compared to smoking cigarettes.  Before making any such claims, we will rigorously evaluate the full set of data from the relevant scientific studies to determine whether they substantiate reduced exposure or risk.  Any such claims may also be subject to government review and authorization, as is the case in the USA today

** Aerosol is a suspension of very small particles of liquid, solid or both within a gas (i.e. vapor)