Scientific Updates

      The latest research and developments relating to our smoke-free products

      This is the Scientific Update Magazine, a regular publication on our research efforts to further tobacco harm reduction and to develop and assess a range of potentially reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes. In addition to the magazine itself, we also re-share the articles published in the Scientific Update here on our website. Find the list of all our issues below.

      Issue 19 - June 2024

      Exploring nicotine

      This 19th issue of the Scientific Update, issued in June 2024, examines the role that nicotine has to play in tobacco harm reduction. Also in this issue, we dive into the history of tobacco plant research, identifying the critical role that Nicotiana tabacum has played in plant biology, virology, and tobacco harm reduction. And finally, this issue highlights the fact that the general public, and even physicians, often misunderstand the risks of nicotine, making it even more important for accurate information to be made available. 

      Issue 18 - february 2024

      Science-Based Regulation

      This 18th issue of the Scientific Update, issued in February 2024, discusses how science-based regulation can foster innovation and encourage adult smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives. We also provide an overview of the regulatory landscape in the U.S., where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to evaluate and authorize smoke-free products. This issue also explains how our Tobacco Heating System's aerosol does not meet the scientific definition of smoke.

      Issue 17R - December 2022

      A look inside our smoke-free products

      In the 17th issue of the Scientific Update, re-issued in August 2023, we explore the increasing variety of smoke-free products that could help adults who would otherwise continue to smoke find something they can switch to completely. We describe in detail the manufacturing process for our heated tobacco sticks, as well as one of the newer additions to our range of smoke-free products: oral nicotine pouches.

      Issue 16R - September 2022

      Harm reduction: A focus on Japan

      This 16th issue of the Scientific Update, re-issued in August 2023, explores in-depth examples of tobacco harm reduction success that can be found in Japan. We hope that readers can find inspiration in the research discussed here and advance tobacco harm reduction in ways that work for them and their country.

      Issue 15 - June 2022

      Delivering a smoke-free future

      The 15th issue of the Scientific Update describes our commitment to advancing our ambition of achieving a smoke-free future for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, the scientists working to make that goal a reality, and a look at the smoke-free products on which we're building that future.

      Scientific update issue no 14: The science behind real-world evidence.
      Issue 14 - December 2021

      The science behind real-world evidence

      The 14th issue of the Scientific Update featured an editorial describing how a scientific approach to research can be used by anyone, not just scientists. It also highlights our scientific approach to sustainability and our product technologies.

      ISSUE 13 - AUGUST 2021

      Harm reduction: Putting the pieces together

      The 13th issue of the Scientific Update features an editorial by Steve Roulet, Global Head of Behavioral Research Insights. There, he examines product use patterns, relative risk, and the effects of switching to smoke-free alternatives, compared to continued smoking.  

      ISSUE 12 - MAY 2021

      Thinking ahead

      The 12th issue of the Scientific Update features an editorial by Dr. Jorge Insuasty, our Chief Life Sciences Officer. There, he discusses what's on the horizon for research at PMI as we expand to develop products that go beyond tobacco and nicotine. Dr. Insuasty describes how these new research areas help drive our transformation, and how they complement the concept of a smoke-free future.

      ISSUE 11 - SEPTEMBER 2020

      Historic decision

      The 11th issue of the Scientific Update features an overview of the historic decision made by the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) to authorize the marketing of the IQOS Tobacco Heating System with reduced exposure information. We explore the different MRTP decisions under U.S. laws; the steps, processes, and timeline that PMI undertook; and the ongoing post-market surveillance and studies that will be conducted to determine the impact of the orders on consumer perception, behavior, and health. 

      ISSUE 10 - JULY 2020

      Science-based decision-making

      The 10th issue of the Scientific Update focuses on the importance of evidence. In the feature article, Dr. Moira Gilchrist, VP Strategic and Scientific Communications, describes how science-based decision-making relies on using validated research methods, transparency, and addressing bias in research.

      ISSUE 09 - APRIL 2020

      Why we don't need combustion

      The 9th issue of the Scientific Update is published in a new style, with its focus on our smoke-free products broadening to also encompass harm reduction in general. The feature article describes what combustion is, discusses the processes that are involved in the heating of tobacco, and identifies some of the chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke.

      ISSUE 08 - DECEMBER 2019

      Focus on: Nicotine

      The 8th issue of the Scientific Update focuses on all things nicotine. Nicotine is addictive and not risk-free, but it is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. But what is nicotine? What makes nicotine addictive? And what are nicotine's effects in the body? All these topics, as well as the role of nicotine in our own research, are discussed in this December issue of the Scientific Update.

      ISSUE 07 - MARCH 2019

      Focus on: Systems toxicology

      Our featured article breaks down the intricacies of systems toxicology, thanks to Julia Hoeng, Director of Systems Toxicology. She opens up about her experience in the field, her team, and how their work has far-reaching significance that goes beyond tobacco research.

      ISSUE 06 - DECEMBER 2018

      Focus on: Results of exposure response study

      This issue of the Scientific Update reviews key milestones from this fall, featuring the results of our latest completed clinical trial - the Exposure Response Study on the Tobacco Heating system (THS). Read this issue to learn how this study lends further support to the conclusion that switching completely to THS presents less risk of harm than continuing to smoke.

      ISSUE 05 - JUNE 2018

      Focus on: Independent research

      This issue of the Scientific Update focuses not on advancements in our own research, but on another important milestone: growing independent research on our smoke-free products. The research covered in this issue highlights independent publications on THS, including four recent government reports and more than a dozen peer-reviewed independent studies from around the world.

      ISSUE 04 - DECEMBER 2017

      PMI's Director Medical Affairs discusses our practice of conducting high-quality clinical research

      This issue of the Scientific Update provides a closer look at some of the principles and practices on which PMI’s scientific assessment program is built. Director Medical Affairs Dr. Patrick Picavet describes specific examples from PMI’s clinical program that highlight the company’s commitment to the implementation of best practices, transparent research and the well-being of clinical trial participants.

      ISSUE 03 - NOVEMBER 2017

      PMI's modified risk tobacco product application for its Electronically Heated Tobacco Product (EHTP)

      This issue of the Scientific Update focuses on PMI’s scientific assessment program as it applies to its Electronically Heated Tobacco Product (EHTP), referred to in the literature as the tobacco heating system (THS). PMI established its multi-step assessment program applying internationally accepted scientific and quality standards along the same principles as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) draft guidance (2012).

      ISSUE 02 - MAY 2017

      Focus on: Recent milestones in PMI's research

      This issue of the Scientific Update focuses on novel approaches to e-vapor products. Technology and innovation can improve user experience and continuously enhance a product’s potential to present less risk of harm than smoking. The focus of the issue details the product design and manufacturing behind MESH, the new generation of e-vapor technology PMI is currently test marketing in Birmingham (UK).

      ISSUE 01 - SEPTEMBER 2016

      Focus on: Reduced-risk product development and assessment at PMI

      This update, addressed to scientists, regulators, and others, provides a summary of PMI’s product development and assessment approach, as well as an overview of our latest studies, key peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific conferences. In addition, we detail our two ambulatory reduced exposure studies on THS and explain their relevance to our overall assessment program.