Cigarette smoke has over 6000 chemicals, with around 100 of these classified as Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs)1. The vast majority of these constituents are formed when organic material (like tobacco) is burned. Burning, or combustion, occurs at temperatures above 400 °C.
One of the compounds released from tobacco is nicotine. There is now scientific agreement2 that the toxic and carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke are produced by HPHCs and not by nicotine. But nicotine is addictive.
About Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs)
HPHCs are chemicals or chemical compounds in tobacco products or tobacco smoke that cause or could cause harm to smokers or nonsmokers. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) requires tobacco manufacturers and importers to report the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) found in their tobacco products and tobacco smoke.
Read the report of the Surgeon General.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease—The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General, Atlanta (GA): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health (2010).
Therefore, through the development of smoke-free products, our goal is to deliver nicotine to smokers who continue smoking, and to reduce or eliminate HPHCs.
We have shown, through testing Platforms 1 and 2, that if tobacco is heated above 250 °C, similar amounts of nicotine as those found in cigarette smoke, can be released. At the same time, as the tobacco is not heated above 350 °C the levels of HPHCs generated and therefore inhaled is significantly reduced. Our studies have shown an average reduction of 90-95% in the levels of HPHCs measured in the aerosol of Platforms 1 and 2 compared to those found in the smoke of a standard research reference cigarette (3R4F).
There is a wide consensus that completely switching to tobacco- or nicotine-containing products that do not burn tobacco, have the potential to present less risk of harm than continued smoking.
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