Promise highlighted

    Philip Morris International (PMI) has presented data at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, demonstrating the potential of its carbon-heated tobacco product (CHTP) to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to this product versus continued cigarette smoking.

    The data show that across a range of pre-clinical assessment studies the aerosol produced by CHTP generates significantly reduced harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) compared with cigarette smoke, and appears to have a significantly reduced biological impact.

    “Our comprehensive pre-clinical assessment of CHTP involves a range of advanced in vitro, in vivo and systems toxicology studies”, said Manuel Peitsch, chief scientific officer, PMI. “We are delighted to have shared the latest results of these studies with leading toxicologists from around the world at the SOT Annual Meeting. As we seek to develop products with the potential to reduce the risks associated with cigarette smoking, it is crucial to have our methodologies and results scrutinized by the external scientific community”.

    CHTP is a novel tobacco product that uses a carbon heat-source to heat tobacco to a controlled temperature, below that which is necessary for combustion, producing an aerosol containing nicotine and tobacco flavor. By eradicating combustion, which occurs in the use of cigarettes, it is hoped that CHTP will carry a reduced risk of smoking-related disease and adverse health outcomes. CHTP is one of a range of technologies being investigated in PMI’s portfolio of Reduced-Risk Products.

    In vitro studies on human oral, nasal and bronchial epithelial cells show that the impact of CHTP aerosol was considerably lower than cigarette smoke with regard to cell toxicity, cell morphology, inflammatory responses and the perturbation of biological processes. Another study revealed reduced effects of CHTP aerosol on the adhesion of monocytic cells to artery endothelial cells, a key step in the development of cardiovascular disease. A 90-day inhalation study, complemented with further systems toxicological analysis, found considerably lower levels of HPHCs generated from CHTP aerosol as compared to cigarette smoke, and in general fewer changes to exposed tissues.

    “Not only do these studies show highly promising results for CHTP, they also demonstrate what can be achieved with modern toxicological techniques”, said Julia Hoeng, director of systems toxicology, biomedical research, PMI. “We have shown how in vitro human cell cultures can be used in place of in vivo testing, how traditional toxicology endpoints can be enhanced with systems toxicological analysis, and how these approaches can be combined to generate more effective, efficient and timely toxicological testing strategies”.

    Through technological innovation and rigorous scientific assessment, PMI is leading a full-scale effort to ensure that RRPs ultimately replace cigarettes. The data presented at the SOT annual meeting will contribute to a package of evidence that will be submitted to international regulatory bodies for their appraisal of the risk-reduction potential of CHTP.