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Heated tobacco products

Heated tobacco products

Innovating to lead the transformation of tobacco use

Our commitment to offering adult smokers a choice of reduced-risk products*† is reflected in the progress we are making in tobacco heating products.

What are tobacco heating products?

Tobacco Heating Products (THPs) are devices that heat tobacco to generate an aerosol. Our flagship THP brand, glo, comprises an electronic handheld device that contains a lithium-ion battery which powers a heating chamber. A specially designed rod containing homogenised tobacco, called a Neostik, is then inserted into the device.

The scientific evidence

In a cigarette, the tobacco is burned by combustion at temperatures over 900ºC, releasing a highly complex mixture of gases, particles and compounds and leaving behind a grey ash.

In contrast, THPs heat tobacco to much lower temperatures (~200‒300ºC). As there is no combustion, the aerosol consists mainly of water, glycerol, flavourings, and nicotine. Also, odour is greatly reduced, and there is no ash.

By not burning the tobacco this dramatically changes the composition of the aerosol. Comparing cigarette smoke with glo aerosol, the weight of evidence shows that the levels of toxicants were reduced on average by 90-95%.*†

To date, most research has been conducted by industry scientists, but an increasing number of independent reports are broadly aligned with these findings and support the role of THPs as a less risky*† alternative to smoking.

In 2022, we published the results of a year-long study which showed that smokers switching exclusively to glo, achieved significant and sustained improvements in several indicators of potential harm compared to those who continued to smoke.

The full results, which were published in Internal and Emergency Medicine, build upon the favourable changes reported at three and six months. The improvements observed were sustained over the 12 months of the study, adding to the weight of evidence that supports glo as a less risky* alternative for adult smokers who would not otherwise quit.

The results from this study are the most important data we have ever generated about glo and for the THP category in general. This real-world study allows us to assess the changes that adult smokers switching exclusively to glo experience, by assessing early indicators of potential harm associated with disease development. It provides much needed new evidence about the size of the change and durability of the effect switching completely to glo can have, and reinforces glo’s potential as a reduced-risk product*.

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