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//Press release: Heated tobacco and vape NGPs display reduced cardiotoxicity potential relative to combustible cigarette smoke

Posted 18/02/2022 9:59am


Pre-clinical assessment using rapid screening Cardio quickPredict assay further substantiates potentially harm reduced alternatives to combustible cigarettes in recent study

The smoking of combustible cigarettes has an established association with cardiovascular disease. As part of our commitment to making a meaningful contribution to tobacco harm reduction, Imperial Brands recently evaluated the cardiotoxicity potential of our heated tobacco (HT) and vape Next Generation Products (NGPs) relative to combustible tobacco.

Our latest scientific research, published in the journal Frontiers in Toxicology, explores the suitability of the Cardio quickPredict assay to assess this specific smoking-related disease endpoint. It uses human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) to screen for potential cardiac toxicants based on the behaviour of four specific metabolites: lactic acid, arachidonic acid, thymidine and 2’-deoxycytidine. 

After exposing hiPSC-CMs to combustible cigarette smoke, as well as HT and vape aerosol, under the conditions of test the results were as follows:  

  • Combustible cigarette smoke exhibited the greatest cardiotoxic potential, affecting all four predictive metabolites. 
  • Heated tobacco aerosol also displayed some cardiotoxic potential. However, researchers needed to expose the cells to HT aerosol at concentrations 10 times higher than cigarette smoke to achieve this. 
  • No cardiotoxic potential was observed for the vape aerosol, even at the highest concentration tested (33 times higher than cigarette smoke). 

Dr Liam Simms, Principal Toxicologist and study co-author, commented: 

“Smoking is a cause of serious diseases in smokers, including heart disease. The findings from this latest research adds to the weight-of-evidence indicating that, although not risk free, our heated tobacco and vape products demonstrate significantly reduced cardiotoxic potential when compared to combustible cigarettes. 

“We’re also pleased the Cardio quickPredict assay – which doesn’t involve any animal testing – has demonstrated its suitability as part of our wider scientific assessment framework for assessing the harm reduction potential of our NGPs.”

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