OVERVIEW

Our NGP categories include vape, heated tobacco and tobacco-free oral nicotine pouches. Our research demonstrates that all these categories have the exciting potential to be substantially less harmful than conventional cigarettes.

We’re building consumer and regulatory trust in our NGP by ensuring they’re underpinned by ongoing innovation, best-in-class manufacturing, the highest quality standards and rigorous scientific research.
 

Our NGP at a glance

myblu

  • NGP category: vape
  • Contains tobacco leaf: no
  • Involves combustion: no
  • Method of nicotine absorption: lungs

Pulze

  • NGP category: heated tobacco
  • Contains tobacco leaf: yes
  • Involves combustion: no
  • Method of nicotine absorption: lungs

ZoneX/Skruf

  • NGP category: tobacco-free oral nicotine pouch
  • Contains tobacco leaf: no
  • Involves combustion: no
  • Method of nicotine absorption: gum membranes

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

We understand society’s concerns about the health risks of smoking, and we also recognise our important role in helping to reduce the harm caused by combustible tobacco. 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.
 

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?

From Combustible Tobacco to Smoke-free Nicotine Delivery

In recent years we’ve increasingly focused our tobacco and nicotine research activities on NGP development, enhancing our capabilities through external acquisitions and recruitment from multiple industries.

Today, Imperial Brands is a true multi-category company, driven by the demands of adult consumers and supported by an understanding of tobacco harm reduction science. Our standalone science website explains the rationale behind our NGP portfolio, as well as important differences between each category.
 

WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES?

CONSUMER HEALTH

We understand society’s concerns about the health risks associated with smoking and recognise the role we have to play developing potentially harm reduced Next Generation Products (NGP)

YOUTH ACCESS PREVENTION 

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

OUR SCIENCE

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

CONSUMER HEALTH

Society has been aware of the health risks posed by smoking tobacco for decades, yet over a billion adults worldwide continue to smoke.

The undisputed best action adult smokers can take to improve their health is through complete cessation of all tobacco and nicotine use. However, millions of adults continue to smoke despite public health campaigns, numerous deterrent behavioural mechanisms and legislative instruments.

With this in mind, proactively transitioning adult smokers to other nicotine-containing products which are likely to be substantially less harmful than smoked tobacco is acknowledged by many as the next best option. Indeed, it’s this route to reducing the harmful impact of smoking tobacco across populations – transitioning adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke – that underpins the concept of the public health principle of tobacco harm reduction, or THR.

Central to THR is a recognition that not all nicotine-containing products are as harmful as smoked tobacco, and that alternative nicotine products are legitimate, harm reduced tools to help reduce smoking-related morbidity and mortality.

While no NGP is entirely risk-free, an increasing body of scientific evidence suggests they are likely to be significantly less harmful relative to continued combustible cigarette smoking. Realtive risk is crucial as NGPs are designed for – and marketed towards – adult smokers. Overall, it’s crucial to view harm reduction through a spectrum of risk relative to combustible tobacco. Explore more about NGPs and the risk spectrum here.

NGPs have not been available long enough to generate epidemiological data, which looks at potential health impacts after decades of use, and more research in this area is certainly needed. However, the long term health impacts of smoking tobacco are well known. Meanwhile, the scientific evidence to-date indicates any potential long term health risks associated with transitioning to NGPs – providing the products are manufactured to robust quality and safety standards – are highly likely to be considerably lower than continued smoking.

Encouragingly, leading authorities like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are increasingly applying THR thinking and strategies to their public health objectives. In other countries including the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, many regulators and public health bodies continue to voice their support for NGPs and the positive role they can potentially play in improving global public health outcomes.

The Science Behind Our NGP

As a responsible manufacturer, we assess and substantiate the harm reduction potential of our NGP portfolio using the state-of-the-art scientific framework pictured. You can also explore in more detail on our dedicated Science website.

We uphold high product standards, rigorously testing and analysing our products to continually build our knowledge base and meet our duty of care to consumers, as well as helping raise standards across the wider NGP landscape.

We believe openness, transparency and collaboration enhance the scientific understanding of NGP, and invite critique of our science through the process of peer-review in international scientific journals, and the regular presentation of our research at international conferences. For further information, read our case studies.

Continued innovation, via our dedicated subsidiary Nerudia and select external partnerships, is equally vital when it comes to building regulatory and consumer trust around NGPs.

YOUTH ACCESS PREVENTION

Tobacco and NGP are for adult smokers only. We do not want youths to use any of our products and take youth access prevention (YAP) very seriously. We fully support YAP and minimum age restrictions for the sale or purchase of our products.

Preventing youths from using tobacco or recreational nicotine products is an issue for society as a whole to resolve. We play our part by not directing the marketing of our products to anyone under the age of 18, or higher minimum age where specified locally, or to non-smokers.

We are committed to the marketing and advertising of our products responsibly within the laws, codes of practice and voluntary agreements of those countries within which we operate. We have updated our marketing standards to reflect developments in technology and our NGP portfolio. Our commitment to the responsible marketing and sale of our NGP and conventional tobacco products is summarised by the following five Marketing Principles:  

1. We only engage with adult consumers of tobacco and nicotine products.

2. Our marketing is honest and transparent.

3. We give our consumers the information they need to make informed choices.

4. We will never encourage people to start smoking or non-smokers to use recreational nicotine products, and never discourage consumers of our products from quitting.

5. We respect the local laws, codes of practice and voluntary agreements which govern the advertising, promotion and sale of our products.

All Imperial Brands companies and employees, as well as agencies who work with us, adhere to our standards and local legislation. Where local legislation is stricter than our standards, this takes precedence, and where local legislation may be less stringent, then our own high standards take precedence.

We believe social media has an important role to play in ensuring greater awareness of the potential health benefits of NGP and agree with regulators that such communication should only ever be aimed at adult smokers. Instances of our employees and agencies failing to follow our strict guidelines are rare. Whenever we have been made aware of inappropriate social media use, we have immediately removed any offending posts and taken appropriate action after conducting a thorough investigation.

We work with retailers to reinforce the message that tobacco and NGP are solely for adults and encourage responsible selling. We support initiatives aimed at preventing the sale of our products to minors, including schemes that highlight the minimum age at the point of sale and relevant training for our trade partners. In Germany for example, one of our most important markets, the German Federal Association of Tobacco Industry and Novel Products (BVTE) and its member companies, including Imperial, support effective enforcement of the sales age of 18 for nicotine products. For more details read our case studies.
 

SCIENCE

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

Visit our Science website

NEXT GENERATION PRODUCTS

We recognise the important role we can play in helping to reduce the harm caused by combustible tobacco products.

CASE STUDIES

Our case studies showcase our progress against our sustainability strategy.