OVERVIEW

We have a thriving and expanding Next Generation Products (NGP) business that’s committed to creating something better for the world’s smokers. That means offering smokers less harmful alternatives to cigarettes – a new range of products that have the potential to reduce smoking-related disease. Read more about our approach to NGPs in 'Creating Something Better for the World’s Smokers'.

 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

We understand society’s concerns about the health risks of smoking and recognise that we have an important role to play in reducing the harm caused by cigarettes. Since establishing our first research and development (R&D) laboratory in the early 1950s, we have invested substantial sums in tobacco research and will continue to do so in the future.

As a sustainable business, we have continually evolved to embrace changing market dynamics. We are now currently witnessing the biggest consumer shift in our history, with millions of smokers around the world choosing to switch to less harmful NGPs and we have never been better placed to be able to transition consumers from cigarettes to something better.

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?

Using our considerable resources in research, product development and quality manufacturing, we believe we can deliver a range of products that are safer alternatives to smoking. We are focusing our attention on developing and expanding our NGP portfolio. We want to reduce the health impact of tobacco by encouraging smokers to switch to products with lower health risk.

We uphold high standards, rigorously testing and analysing our products to ensure we continually build our knowledge and are able to meet our standards of care for consumers.

Our NGP portfolio is built around the pioneering blu vapour brand and also includes oral and heated tobacco products.

 

WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES?

REDUCED HARM

We’re encouraging smokers to switch to alternative products with lower health risks.

ADULT CHOICE 

Our products are for adult consumers only and should never be sold to minors.

OUR SCIENCE

Our products and innovations are underpinned by leading-edge science.

REDUCED HARM

Cigarettes are a known cause of serious disease in smokers and many countries have stated aims for future generations to be smoke-free. Yet over a billion adults around the world still choose to smoke and will continue to do so well into the future.

NGP – particularly vapour products, which do not contain tobacco – are seen as representing a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, thereby creating a huge global public health opportunity.

Leading authorities like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are increasingly applying harm reduction thinking and strategies to their public health objectives. In the UK, several highly regarded public health bodies have voiced their support for vapour products and the positive role they can play in harm reduction.

Achieving harm reduction in tobacco relies on our ability to provide consumers with products that pose less risk to their health. Until recently, these have been few and far between and consisted largely of licensed nicotine replacement products, such as gums and patches, and snus, an oral tobacco product that contains lower toxicants than cigarettes but which is not widely available.

Now, a whole new generation of products is available. They haven’t been around long enough to generate epidemiological data, which looks at health impacts over decades, and we agree that more research is needed into the long-term effects of their use. However, in the case of tobacco-free vapour products, there’s growing consensus that the risks they pose are likely to be substantially lower than the risks posed by smoking cigarettes.

It’s important to view harm reduction through a spectrum of risk and this is set out in our 'Creating Something Better for the World’s Smokers' publication.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

We have developed a tiered approach to product assessment, which can be employed to evaluate whether or not our products are less harmful than smoking cigarettes and are an effective alternative for smokers.

We apply innovative systems and the latest technologies to assess and analyse vaping products. We follow a three step process that incorporates non-clinical studies, clinical studies, and population impact assessment.

Research conducted by Fontem Ventures has shown that blu e-cigarette vapour is over 95 per cent less toxic than smoke from a cigarette, contains over 99 per cent fewer toxicants and carcinogens and does not negatively impact indoor air quality.

Encouragingly, our clinical data has shown in biomarkers we have studied that the reductions in levels of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) following exclusive use of blu e-cigarettes were almost indistinguishable from reductions in smokers who stopped smoking altogether during the same time.

Other recently published clinical research has also shown that smokers who have switched to vaping have significantly lower exposure to carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke, with reductions largely indistinguishable from complete smoking cessation or the use of licensed nicotine replacement products.

We are open and transparent about our research and have dedicated websites where our work can be seen:

NEXT GENERATION PRODUCTS

Our aim is to increasingly transition smokers to our thriving and expanding Next Generation Product (NGP) portfolio.

OUR COMPANIES

Imperial Brands is the parent company of five distinct entities.

APPROACH

Our sustainability strategy is integral to the long-term success of our business and underpins our drive to create shared value for our stakeholders.