Modern oral products
Oral tobacco and nicotine products providing a modern alternative to conventional cigarettes
Our modern and traditional oral tobacco and nicotine products, provide further reduced-risk*† product alternatives.
Under our Velo brand, our modern oral pouches contain high purity nicotine, water and other high-quality ingredients. Modern oral products represent an exciting opportunity to offer a device-free alternative to adult smokers.
The scientific evidence
Laboratory chemical studies for our modern oral products show they produce substantially lower levels of toxicants than cigarette smoke and even lower levels than snus1 — a traditional oral tobacco product which is already regarded as a reduced risk*† alternative to smoking. Toxicology tests assessing the biological effects of our modern oral products on human cells also show they have reduced effects relative to snus and cigarettes2. In 2021, we published new peer-reviewed evidence3, which suggests our modern oral tobacco-free nicotine pouches have a toxicant profile that is comparable to nicotine replacement therapy products (NRT). The pouches were also found to have a toxicant profile that is far lower than snus. This study compared BAT’s nicotine pouch products to both snus and NRTs. Each was tested for 26 compounds, some of which are known harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs). For our products, 22 of the 26 compounds tested were below measurable limits. For NRTs, 20-22 of 25 compounds were below measurable limits, whereas snus was found to have 11 of 24 compounds below measurable limits. On the basis of our evidence and informed by the wealth of independent evidence regarding snus, switching completely to modern oral products can be expected to reduce the risk of smoking-related disease when compared to continued smoking*†. That is why we are investing so much in refining and improving these innovative products. This is part of our commitment to providing adult consumers with a wide range of enjoyable and less risky*† alternatives to cigarettes.
In the US, as with our Vuse vapour products, we submitted the required Pre-Market Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs) for our Velo products in 2020. These applications consist of between 100,000 and 150,000 pages, with results from numerous clinical, non-clinical and behavioural research studies, chemical analyses, and toxicological reviews of individual ingredients. The Velo PMTAs are currently under review by the FDA. We remain confident in the quality of the applications submitted for our Velo products, which are supported by scientific evidence that continued marketing of our Velo product is appropriate for the protection of public health. Growing Reach and Availability Having consolidated our leadership position in modern oral outside the US and expanded the US portfolio with the Dryft acquisition in 2020, 2021 has been a year of further growth in volume and value. Our growth accelerated in 2021, with volume up 71% to 3.3 billion pouches (2020: up 62%; 1.9 billion pouches). Revenue increased 38.8% to £274 million. Our pilot launches in emerging markets (including Pakistan and Indonesia) continue to deliver valuable insights as we roll-out in key urban locations. Traditional Oral Products We continue to sell a range of traditional oral products in five markets. This includes Swedish-style snus and American moist snuff, available in loose tobacco form or as pre-packed pouches. In 2021, we generated £1,150 million in revenues, representing 4.4% of total Group revenues, from traditional oral products.
* Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
† Our oral products Grizzly, Camel Snus, Kodiak and Velo, as sold in the US, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without agency clearance.
1 Bishop E, East N, Bozhilova S, et al. (2020). An approach for the extract generation and toxicological assessment of tobacco-free ‘modern’ oral nicotine pouches. Food Chem Toxicol 2020; 145: 111713. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111713.
2 East N, Bishop E, Breheny D, Gaca M, Thorne D. (2021). A screening approach for the evaluation of tobacco-free ‘modern oral’ nicotine products using real time cell analysis. Toxicology Reports. 8. 10.1016/j. toxrep.2021.02.014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2021.02.014.
3 David Azzopardi, Chuan Liu & James Murphy (2021) Chemical characterization of tobacco-free “modern” oral nicotine pouches and their position on the toxicant and risk continuums, Drug and Chemical Toxicology, https://doi.org/10.1080/01480545.2021.1925691.