More than a billion adults smoke, globally. As a responsible business, Imperial Brands is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the public health concept of tobacco harm reduction (THR) to address consumer needs and contribute to positive health outcomes.
We therefore offer consumers a broad portfolio of innovative, satisfying and potentially harm reduced Next Generation Products (NGP), manufactured to a high quality and in accordance with recognised safety standards.
We firmly believe in starting with the consumer, and this is reflected in our commitment to conducting extensive product safety assessments and evaluating the THR potential of our NGP.
We’ve therefore developed a multi-stage and multi-discipline scientific assessment framework (SAF) for product safety evaluation and assessing THR potential.
Our comprehensive consumer product safety programme ensures we’re rigorously validating our NGP safety profiles throughout their lifecycles. Meanwhile, we’re also scientifically assessing the benefits and relative risks of our NGP compared to cigarettes, focusing on both individuals and the wider population.
Find out more about each stage of the SAF below.
Dr Thomas Nahde
Scientific Substantiation and Engagement Lead
We believe the SAF is crucial in generating the necessary scientific proof points and evidence to build and maintain trust in NGP with consumers, regulators, public health and the media.
We also think the comprehensive scientific assessment of these relative risks should form the basis of risk-proportionate evidence-based regulation. Our SAF is therefore aligned with guidelines provided by leading global public health authorities and regulators.
We actively advocate for robust and internationally recognised standards across the wider NGP landscape to help further improve consumer trust and safety in the future, while we continually review and improve the approaches, processes and technologies underpinning our SAF in line with our comprehensive consumer Standard of Care – the required safety assessments that need to be undertaken before products can be launched within markets.
Each subsequent stage of our SAF helps us validate the safety profile and build the cumulative evidence base demonstrating the THR potential of our NGP. We consider the totality of this research, alongside in-market consumer data on adult smoker switching/retention rates and the broader scientific literature, will ultimately confirm our NGP contribute to improved population health outcomes compared to continuing to smoke – therefore demonstrating our meaningful contribution to THR.
We 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. We also make our work publicly available in our research archive. We believe this openness and transparency enhance the scientific understanding of NGP and provide adult smoker consumers with the greatest opportunity to make informed choices about their health.
To continue to build our future NGP capability, we work with worldwide scientific research and innovation partners, all of whom are carefully selected to ensure consistently high standards of ethical practice and scientific conduct. We also have an in-house consumer centric R&D facility.
Finally, our NGP are created for, and marketed towards, adult smokers and adult recreational nicotine consumers only – so we apply additional safeguards to minimise any unintended use, including responsible international marketing standards and stringent Youth Access Prevention measures.
Find out more about our scientific assessment framework by watching the video below or take a closer look at some of our key NGP studies.