RRPs have the potential to reduce the risk for an individual and reduce the harm of cigarette smoking on the population as a whole. In order to define the likely population health effects of switching to RRPs, it is important to understand how the product is perceived and how users will behave with the product. Our Perception and Behavior Assessment (PBA) program is designed to assess and measure consumers’ attitudes and beliefs about our RRPs. It is important that consumers understand that RRPs have been developed for adult smokers who decide not to quit smoking cigarettes. They are not designed to stop current smokers from quitting and they are not designed for non-smokers. However, for the product to have a positive impact on population harm, RRPs should be sufficiently acceptable to current adult smokers so they are able to switch to them easily and should not attract new users.
It is important to address four key areas related to consumer perception and behavior that both PMI and regulatory agencies (like the US FDA) are concerned about. The studies, which are survey and questionnaire-based, address the effect of introducing RRPs on:
Tobacco use behavior among adult smokers
Tobacco use initiation among adult non-smokers
Consumer understanding and perceptions of risk
Long Term Assessment is our post-marketing surveillance program. These studies are designed to follow groups of smokers who have chosen to switch to RRPs and have agreed to take part in the study. Consistent with the requirements of Good Clinical Practice, any adverse events during the studies will be recorded and reported. This will allow us to determine if switching to RRPs results in any new risks and will also allow us to understand if switchers are developing smoking related diseases at the same incidence as smokers of cigarettes. This will be the evidence that confirms (or not) the pre-market evidence that we have accumulated to show if RRPs do reduce the harm smoking causes to the population.