Why tobacco harm reduction matters

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Why tobacco harm reduction should be adopted as a progressive public health policy.

We know tobacco products pose real and serious health risks and the only way to avoid these risks is to not use them. But many adults choose to smoke, so our top priority continues to be working towards reducing these risks and making available a range of less risky tobacco and nicotine-based alternatives.

The challenge



Nicotine itself is not especially hazardous … if nicotine could be provided in a form that is acceptable and effective as a cigarette substitute, millions of lives could be saved."

‘Harm reduction in nicotine addiction: helping people who can’t quit’, a report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, 2007.


The health risks for people who use tobacco products are the most negative consequences of our business. We are working to develop less risky alternatives to conventional cigarettes and to secure the support of public health professionals and regulators so we can bring them to market.

Tobacco companies, scientists and regulators need to work together to ensure a science-based approach to assessing new products that potentially pose less risk. This will provide consumers with the assurance that the product information they receive is based on sound science and allows them to make an informed choice based on the risk profile of different products.

Nicotine: The facts

  • Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco leaf and significantly lower levels are also found in plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines (eggplant).

  • Nicotine products, as an alternative to conventional cigarettes, offer significantly reduced health risks.

  • It is largely the toxicants found in cigarette smoke that cause the overwhelming majority of smoking-related diseases – not the nicotine itself.

Our approach

Our research and development programme is focusing on tobacco harm reduction and we are developing a next generation of tobacco and nicotine products that offers a less risky alternative to conventional cigarettes. This includes Vype, an electronic cigarette we launched in 2013, a nicotine inhalation product being prepared for launch in the UK by our subsidiary, Nicoventures and innovative heat-not-burn products.

We’re working with scientists and regulators to promote this next generation of products and advocate a regulatory approach that puts consumer safety and product quality first, while encouraging the growth of new less risky nicotine products that could help smokers cut down or quit.

  • Ranked in the top 25% of EU companies for our investment into research and development.

  • Launched our first e-cigarette product, Vype, in the UK in July 2013.

  • Nicotine inhalation product in development by our subsidiary, Nicoventures, for launch in the UK.

  • Spend over £160 million on Research & Development a year.

  • Published more than 100 peer-reviewed research paper in the last five years.

  • Employ 62 PhD scientists to develop and evaluate better and safer products.

  • Contributed to 28 leading scientific conferences, workshops and events in 2013.

News Source : Why tobacco harm reduction matters
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