For a smoke-free product to be successful in reducing harm, the product must present less risk – compared with continued smoking – and be an acceptable alternative for current adult smokers so that they fully switch. In addition to taste, and other sensory aspects, a nicotine uptake comparable to cigarettes is important in achieving acceptance by adult smokers.
Smoke-free products contain nicotine – are they still risky?
Products containing tobacco and/or nicotine are not risk-free. Minors, pregnant women or nursing mothers, and people with existing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes should not use tobacco or nicotine-containing products. Minors in particular should not have access to tobacco or nicotine-containing products.
Described in the US Surgeon General’s 2014 Report, for example, a number of animal studies have shown that nicotine consumption by adolescents can impair cognitive development1.
But several independent studies have shown that although nicotine is not risk-free, it is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases2.
The majority of the harmful effects caused by cigarette smoking are caused by the chemicals formed when tobacco is burned.
Eliminating combustion and consequently dramatically reducing the levels of harmful compounds – known as Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents or HPHCs – is the cornerstone of smoke-free product development.
Whilst reducing or eliminating HPHCs, our goal is also to offer a taste ritual and nicotine level comparable to cigarettes to help ensure that adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke can fully switch.
“Nicotine itself is not especially hazardous, and if nicotine could be provided in a form that is acceptable and effective as a cigarette substitute, millions of lives could be saved.”