OVERVIEW

We have a growing Next Generation Products (NGP) business that’s committed to creating something better for the world’s smokers. That means offering smokers potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. Read more about our approach to NGP here.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

We understand society’s concerns about the health risks of smoking and recognise that we have an important role to play in reducing the harm caused by cigarettes. Since establishing our first research and development (R&D) laboratory in the early 1950s, we have invested substantial sums in tobacco research and will continue to do so in the future.

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?

Using our considerable resources in research, product development and quality manufacturing, we believe we can deliver a range of products that are potentially less harmful than cigarettes. We are focusing our attention on developing and expanding our NGP portfolio. We want to reduce the health impact of tobacco by encouraging smokers to transition to products with potentially lower health risk.

We uphold high standards, rigorously testing and analysing our products to ensure we continually build our knowledge and are able to meet our standards of care for consumers.

Our NGP portfolio is built around the pioneering myblu vapour brand and also includes oral and heated tobacco products. All our products are underpinned by high quality science.

 

WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES?

CONSUMER HEALTH

We’re encouraging smokers to switch to alternative products with potentially lower health risks.

YOUTH ACCESS PREVENTION 

Our products are for adult smokers only and should never be sold to minors.

OUR SCIENCE

We are committed to scientific research into vaping.

CONSUMER HEALTH

Cigarettes are a known cause of serious disease in smokers and many countries have stated aims for future generations to be smoke-free. Yet around a billion adults worldwide still choose to smoke and will continue to do so well into the future.

NGP – particularly vapour products, which do not contain tobacco – are seen as representing a potentially less harmful alternative to cigarettes, thereby creating a huge global public health opportunity.

Leading authorities like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are increasingly applying harm reduction thinking and strategies to their public health objectives. In the UK, several highly regarded public health bodies have voiced their support for vapour products and the positive role they can play in harm reduction.

Achieving harm reduction in tobacco relies on our ability to provide consumers with products that pose potentially less risk to their health. Until recently, these have been few and far between and consisted largely of licensed nicotine replacement products, such as gums and patches, and snus, an oral tobacco product that contains lower toxicants than cigarettes, but which is not widely available.

Now, a whole new generation of products is available. They haven’t been around long enough to generate epidemiological data, which looks at health impacts over decades, and we agree that more research is needed into the long-term effects of their use. However, in the case of tobacco-free vapour products, there’s growing consensus that the risks they pose are likely to be potentially lower than the risks posed by smoking cigarettes.

We apply innovative systems and the latest technologies to assess and analyse vaping products. We follow a three-step process that incorporates non-clinical studies, clinical studies, and population impact assessment.

Research conducted by Fontem Ventures has shown that myblu e-cigarette vapour is over 95 per cent less toxic than smoke from a cigarette, contains over 99 per cent fewer toxicants and carcinogens and does not negatively impact indoor air quality.

Our clinical data has shown in biomarkers we have studied that the reductions in levels of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) following exclusive use of myblu e-cigarettes were almost indistinguishable from reductions in smokers who stopped smoking altogether during the same time.

Other recently published clinical research has also shown that smokers who have transitioned to vaping have significantly lower exposure to carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke, with reductions largely indistinguishable from complete smoking cessation or the use of licensed nicotine replacement products.

We are open and transparent about our research and have dedicated websites where our work can be seen:

www.imperialbrandsscience.com

YOUTH ACCESS PREVENTION

Tobacco and NGP are for adult smokers only. We do not want minors to use any of our products and take youth access prevention very seriously. Preventing minors from using tobacco products is an issue for society as a whole to resolve. We play our part by not directing the marketing of our products to anyone under the age of 18, or higher minimum age where specified locally, or to non-smokers.

We market and sell our products responsibly, adhering to regulation at all times wherever we do business. Our International Marketing Standard (IMS) sets out clear rules and principles to ensure our advertising and marketing are only ever aimed at adult smokers.

We insist that all Imperial Brands companies and employees, as well as the agencies who work with us, stringently adhere to our IMS and local legislation. Where local legislation is stricter than our IMS, this takes precedence, and where local legislation may be less stringent, then our own high standards set out in the IMS take precedence.  The IMS has been translated into 14 specific languages to cover markets where the IMS standard was a higher standard than local legal or voluntary market restrictions.

We have an equally stringent IMS for NGP and fully support, and advocate for, legislation prohibiting sales of NGP to minors. The core principles of this standard include:

(1) We believe that alternatives to conventional tobacco products such as vapour products can potentially make a significant contribution to tobacco harm reduction and we recognise that as such, they should only be marketed responsibly.

(2) We are committed to the marketing, advertising and sale of our vapour products responsibly within the local laws, codes of practice and voluntary agreements which govern the advertising and promotion of vapour products.

(3) We have adopted a number of standards which govern our advertising, promotion and marketing activities, and corresponding sales of our vapour products. These standards are set out in our E-Vapour Products Marketing Standard and apply to all our marketing activities.

(4) We fully support youth access prevention and minimum age restrictions for the lawful sale and purchase of vapour products.

(5) We believe that vapour products should only be sold to and used by adult smokers and we communicate in a responsible manner about our vapour products.

(6) Our E-Vapour Marketing Standard shall not apply to any E-Vapour Products that are licensed by any medicines authority nor any heated tobacco products.

Our IMS and E-Vapour Products Marketing Standard can be accessed from the download library.

We believe social media has an important role to play in ensuring greater awareness of the potential health benefits of NGP and agree with regulators that such communication should only ever be aimed at adult smokers. Instances of our employees and agencies failing to follow our strict guidelines are rare. Whenever we have been made aware of inappropriate social media use, we have immediately removed any offending posts and taken appropriate action after conducting a thorough investigation.

We also work with retailers to reinforce the message that tobacco and NGP are solely for adults and encourage responsible selling.  We support initiatives aimed at preventing the sale of our products to minors, including schemes that highlight the minimum age at the point of sale. For example, in Germany, our business, Reemstma, through its membership of the national tobacco industry association DZV, provides retailers with a web-based training tool and printed materials to drive a zero-tolerance approach to underage sales.  The online tool seeks to educate retailers on a range of youth protection issues including effective age verification, advice on dealing with difficult customers and spelling out the legal consequences of underage vaping sales.  For further information see our case studies.

We are continually looking for ways to improve technology and are developing a connected version of myblu with device locking technology which has child protection features.

IMPERIAL BRANDS SCIENCE

We are committed to scientific research into vaping.

Read more

NEXT GENERATION PRODUCTS

Our aim is to increasingly transition smokers to our expanding Next Generation Product (NGP) portfolio.

OUR COMPANIES

Imperial Brands is the parent company of five distinct entities.