Tobacco Harm Reduction

Our Aspiration 
To be the U.S. leader in authorized, non-combustible, reduced-risk products.​
Our Aspiration 
To be the U.S. leader in authorized, non-combustible, reduced-risk products.​
  Blue Right
  Red Right
  Green Right
​Despite efforts to persuade people never to start or to quit once they do, millions of adults will continue using tobacco products. For these consumers, reduced-risk products may offer a promising opportunity to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking.​​
A strong public health consensus has formed that not all tobacco products present the same risk. Public health authorities agree that there is a broad continuum of risk among tobacco products, with cigarettes at the highest end of that spectrum. ​This continuum recognizes that most of the harm caused by tobacco results from the burning of tobacco.
Supporting the Regulatory Framework
More than 15 years ago, we made the bold decision to pursue federal legislation to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products.
This legislation was required to bring innovative, reduced-risk products to market. We believed and continue to believe that consumers were entitled to receive accurate and scientifically-grounded communications about these products – including communications about their lower risk relative to cigarette smoking. We understood that the only way that this could ever happen was through comprehensive federal legislation.
It took nearly a decade of investment and hard work by us and others, and finally in 2009, the FDA gained regulatory authority over all tobacco products. Today, the FDA acknowledges the continuum of risk for tobacco products and distinguishes between the harm associated with combustible versus non-combustible products. We are greatly encouraged by the FDA's commitment to harm reduction and by its stated goal to "encourage innovative, less harmful and satisfying non-combustible products for adults who need or want nicotine."


Our aspiration is to be the U.S. leader in authorized, non-combustible, reduced-risk products.

Developing a Compelling Portfolio
There are currently about 40 million adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. According to data from the FDA's PATH study, more than half, or 22 million, of these smokers are interested in satisfying but less ha​rmful nicotine alternatives to cigarettes. 
That's why we invest in developing a compelling portfolio of non-combustible products that adult smokers enjoy, while conducting the necessary science to bring them to market. A portfolio approach is important because we know that not all smokers are looking for the same experience.
​​​We focus on products and brands that meet three important consumer expectations: ​

  1. Superior sensory experiences and nicotine satisfaction;​
  2. Reduced health risks and accurate relative risk information; and,
  3. The ability to avoid social friction associated with cigarettes, such as smoke odor, ash and social isolation.​

Product Platforms
​​Fueled by our strong core tobacco business, we've been concentrating on three product platforms. These include:​ 
Smokeless and other oral
nicotine containing products
Heated tobacco products
We believe these product platforms have the potential to drive adult smoker conversion. Of course, we can only compete in the marketplace with products authorized by the FDA and we can only communicate reduced harm claims if the FDA permits. We plan to file numerous regulatory applications in the coming years to do just that.​
As existing products continue to improve, new innovative products become available, and the FDA authorizes manufacturers to communicate accurate risk information, we believe adult smoker conversion will grow and accelerate. This will be a win for adult tobacco consumers, for public health and for our long-term commercial success.  ​​​
​​Conducting the Science
Conducting the Science
We invest in the core science needed to demonstrate that potentially less risky products are in fact less harmful than cigarettes. We have recruited scientists from around the world, from many different disciplines, who share the common goal of tobacco harm reduction.

We have a team of more than 400 scientists, physicians, product developers, engineers, regulatory experts and others who are dedicated to developing innovative products, pursuing their regulatory approval and constructively engaging with the FDA on policy.

To support this effort, we established a rigorous scientific framework based on FDA's guidance to evaluate potentially reduced-harm tobacco products.​

Our scientific approach focuses on:  ​​

  • measuring harmful and potentially harmful compounds;
  • evaluating the product's health effects;
  • researching how adult tobacco consumers use the product and their understanding of its risk; and
  • substantiating that the product is unlikely to appeal to unintended audiences.

We share the results of our scientific studies with the FDA and others through peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, one-on-one meetings and on a website​, designed for scientists, public health and regulatory experts to review the science.
Helping Reduce Underage Tobacco Use
Helping Reduce Underage Tobacco Use
Kids should not smoke or use any tobacco products. It's a goal we share with public health, policy makers, parents, youth-serving organizations and many others who care about young people making healthy decisions.

As the nation's leading tobacco companies, we have an important role in reducing underage tobacco use.

Over the past 20 years, we have funded a variety of programs to:

  • prevent underage access to tobacco products;
  • provide parents with tools to help them raise kids who don't use tobacco; and
  • support youth-serving organizations that prevent kids from using tobacco.​​

Supporting Cessation
Supporting Cessation
For adult consumers concerned about the health effects of tobacco use, the best thing to do is quit.
For many, quitting can be very difficult. For those who decide to quit, we've developed QuitAssist®, a website to help them be more successful.