The toxic profile of modern oral BAT products is comparable to nicotine replacement therapy


New research released today indicates that BAT’s modern oral (OM) products in tobacco-free nicotine packet form have a toxic profile comparable to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and much lower than traditional oral snus, a category of products which when used as the sole nicotine product is already established as a reduced risk product compared to cigarettes.

The study, published in Toxicology of drugs and chemicals, analyzed four variations of one of BAT Lyft + ‘s MO nicotine sachet products, three snus products, and two different NRT lozenge and gum products. Each of these products has been tested for a range of known harmful and potentially harmful (HPHC) constituents.

The results showed that MO products had a toxic profile comparable to NRTs, which are currently considered the least risky of all nicotine products. The study also estimated that users of the MO products studied are likely to be exposed to much lower and significantly lower levels of toxicants than those who use snus.

The results suggest that MO products, such as Lyft and Velo, should be placed near the NRTs at the weakest exposure end of the toxic nicotine delivery continuum.

These findings add to the growing body of evidence to support the reduced risk potential of OM products compared to continuing to smoke. “

Dr Aaron Williams, Scientific Director, R&D

“They provide important new evidence to support the role of MO products in tobacco harm reduction by showing that they have much less and much lower levels of toxic substances compared to and even compared to cigarette smoke. to Swedish-style snus, which is already well established as a reduced risk product when used as the sole nicotine product.

This means that smokers looking for an alternative to nicotine have another alternative with significantly reduced exposure to toxic substances that comes in an oral form that some may find convenient and easy to use.

BAT is committed to building A Better TomorrowTM by reducing the impact of its activity on health by offering a range of pleasant and low-risk products. The company continues to make it clear that combustible cigarettes pose serious health risks and that the only way to avoid those risks is to not start or stop. BAT encourages those who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch completely to science-based, reduced-risk alternatives.

This study is part of a comprehensive scientific research program designed to assess the reduced risk potential of non-combustible nicotine products compared to conventional cigarettes and traditional oral tobacco products.

Study design

The study products were analyzed for 24 to 26 compounds relevant to oral tobacco products, including harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHC) known to the FDA’s smokeless tobacco reporting list and the GothiaTek® standard list of toxins used to guarantee the quality of snus products.

Also included are toxics from cigarette smoke (nine constituents of smoke prioritized by the WHO Tobacco Products Regulatory Group, “TobReg9”, except carbon monoxide) that were not already listed in the other lists.

For BAT’s MO product, 22 of 26 compounds tested were below measurable limits, with only moisture, nicotine, formaldehyde and chromium quantified at very low levels. Formaldehyde and chromium were present in some, but not all of the MO variants and only at extremely low levels.

From a toxicological standpoint, these extremely low levels of formaldehyde (estimated at 0.004 mg / day for OM users) are unlikely to be a problem, as typical food consumption levels for adults are between 1.5 and 14 mg / day.

For the NRT pellet and gum, 22 and 20 of the 25 compounds were within measurable limits, the others quantifiable at very low levels. In contrast, only 11 of the 24 compounds tested in the snus product were below measurable limits, while 13 compounds were present at quantifiable levels.

To assess the toxicant content of MO products relative to other tobacco and nicotine products on the risk continuum, we also examined emission data for 20 HPHCs from published studies of conventional cigarettes. , a heating product for tobacco (THP) and an e-cigarette.

Cigarette smoke contained significant levels of 18 of the 20 compounds measured, the THP aerosol contained 12 compounds at quantifiable levels, while e-cigarette vapor contained 7 compounds at quantifiable levels. The MO product had quantifiable levels of only 3 of these 20 HPHCs.

The toxic substance content of a product alone is insufficient to establish potential health risks for a consumer, so we estimated the daily exposure to toxic substances for the different products based on the average daily consumption. of the toxic substance. These data indicate that, compared to cigarette consumption, the use of these OM products would reduce daily exposure to 16 of the 18 toxicants, and snus would reduce exposure to 10 of the 18 toxicants.

Based on the measured toxicant levels and daily exposure estimates, these data suggest that the MO nicotine sachet products studied would likely fall between snus and NRTs on the toxicant continuum, having significantly lower levels. to those of cigarettes, THP, snus and vapor products. MO products can therefore provide a source of nicotine with lower exposure to toxic substances for current smokers seeking a complete substitute for continued smoking.

The publication recognized the need for additional research to further expand the evidence base and understand how MO products can contribute to tobacco harm reduction.


Journal reference:

Azzopardi, D., et al. (2021) Chemical characterization of “modern” tobacco-free oral nicotine sachets and their position on the toxic and risk continua. Toxicology of drugs and chemicals.

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