British American Tobacco - New study finds that smokers switching exclusively to glo significantly reduce their exposure to certain toxicants, potentially reducing risk of smoking-related disease

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News Release

05 November 2020

New study finds that smokers switching exclusively to glo significantly reduce their exposure to certain toxicants, potentially reducing risk of smoking-related disease

  • Exposure reduction to certain toxicants similar to the effect of quitting smoking completely
  • Three-month results mark first phase of year-long study to assess impact of switching exclusively from cigarettes
  • First ever long-term UK study into effects of using tobacco heating products
  • Study supports BAT’s commitment to developing new category products with potentially reduced risk compared to cigarettes

New research by BAT has found that smokers who switched completely from smoking cigarettes to using BAT’s flagship tobacco heating product (THP), glo, substantially reduced their exposure to certain cigarette smoke toxicants over three months.

For many of the toxicants measured, the levels found in participants were similar to those in people that stopped using tobacco completely. This supports BAT’s ambition to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of its business, given respected public health agencies say that to be considered a modified risk tobacco product, switching completely should have a similar outcome for the smoker to quitting.

Scientists at BAT are conducting the UK’s first ever year-long controlled study to see what impact switching from cigarettes to glo will have on general health as well as smoke-toxicant exposure.

Today’s results find that smokers who switch from cigarettes to glo exclusively significantly reduce the levels of harmful toxicants they are exposed to, potentially reducing their risk of developing smoking-related diseases.  Further results from this study will provide more evidence to help understand the impact of switching to glo and will be announced once the study has been completed.

Dr James Murphy, Group Head of Potentially Reduced-Risk Product Science, said: “These initial results regarding glo are extremely encouraging – glo provides smokers who wish to continue using tobacco and nicotine products with a potentially reduced-risk alternative to cigarettes. The results are another positive step for BAT as we continue our journey to reduce the health impact of our business by offering consumers a range of enjoyable and potentially reduced-risk products.”

Watch this video  on YouTube to see James Murphy and two more of our leading scientists discuss the glo clinical study data in more detail.

Notes to Editors

About glo
Our flagship THP – glo – comprises a battery-powered device that heats specially designed tobacco sticks to below 300 degrees Celsius. This process produces a nicotine-containing aerosol with a tobacco taste which the user inhales. glo was designed in the UK, but the design process involved more than 100 experts across five continents, including scientists, engineers, product designers, tobacco specialists and toxicologists. The glo device is one unit, with one button, making it simple and intuitive to use. As the tobacco sticks aren’t burned, no ash is produced and there is less odour and less staining compared to conventional cigarette.

About the study
The data has been published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research .

The year-long study involves smokers aged 23 to 55 in good general health, and “never smokers” who serve as controls. The smoker volunteers who indicated that they did not intend to quit smoking have been randomised to either continue smoking cigarettes or switch to using only glo for a year, while smoker volunteers who indicated that they wanted to quit smoking receive nicotine replacement therapy. The smokers who want to quit also have access to a cessation counsellor. The “never smokers” act as controls.

During the year, participants visit one of the four UK clinics running the study, and every month biomarkers of exposure to selected cigarette smoke toxicants are measured in urine, along with exhaled carbon monoxide. Health indicators are measured at the same time.

The full study will determine whether reduced exposure is maintained over six months and a year, and whether it is associated with beneficial changes in health effect indicators. Six-month results are expected later this year.


British American Tobacco Press Office:
Lydia Meakin / Anna Vickerstaff
+44 (0) 20 7845 2888 (24 hours)  | @BATPress 

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