Smoking a cigarette is the most harmful way of extracting nicotine because the smoke of a cigarette contains thousands of chemicals, many of which have been identified as harmful or potentially harmful to health. The best choice any smoker can make is to quit using all tobacco and nicotine products altogether.
However, we know that many will continue to smoke. Thanks to science and technology, for those adult smokers who do not quit, there are a growing number of better, scientifically substantiated smoke-free products available today. The titular concept behind smoke-free products, which are alternatives to cigarettes for adults who don’t quit, is to avoid producing smoke – i.e., to avoid burning tobacco – and in this way to significantly reduce the levels of harmful chemicals present in their aerosol as compared to cigarette smoke. Whether a specific product indeed releases lower levels of harmful chemicals should be confirmed via scientific assessment.
At PMI, we have conducted several studies on the aerosol of our smoke-free products. In our next Open Science event, we highlight THS, commercialized as IQOS, as an example. Our studies on THS aerosol include both a targeted assessment of the levels of 58 constituents (the PMI-58 list) in THS aerosol, as well as a comprehensive chemical characterization of the aerosol using untargeted methods.
In this Open Science in Brief, experts from our product assessment program gave an overview of the THS system and the results of our aerosol analysis. They also discussed how we built the PMI-58 list of aerosol constituents based on priority lists published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Health Canada.