Our companies have a long history of leading the industry. Today, adult tobacco consumers are increasingly seeking new options, including those that reduce risk, and their preferences are likely to continue to evolve at an increasing rate. They also want products that address social frictions like tobacco smoke and the odor and ash that comes with it.
That's why we're leveraging the resources across our companies, and through strategic investments, to offer the most diverse portfolio of products to satisfy evolving adult preferences and convert smokers to lower risk products.
The Role of Nicotine
Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco plants. While nicotine is addictive, it's the exposure to smoke – not nicotine – that causes most tobacco-related disease. Smoke from the combustion of tobacco contains thousands of chemicals that cause the vast majority of harm from tobacco, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
Tobacco harm reduction is built on the idea that adult smokers who do not quit should be able to get nicotine from products that are less risky than combustible cigarettes.
Many smokers find nicotine enjoyable, which is why reduced-risk products need to provide a satisfactory nicotine experience. We recognize that comprehensive regulation of tobacco products is necessary to bring these kinds of products to market and let adult smokers know about them.
In 2000, Altria became the first and only company in the industry to support FDA regulation of tobacco products. We saw this as an important step to providing accurate and scientifically-grounded communications about reduced risk products to smokers.
Today, the FDA has regulatory authority over all tobacco products. And the FDA distinguishes between the harm associated with combustible versus non-combustible products.
We fully support FDA's commitment to harm reduction and its commitment to "the proper development of products that can allow adults who still need or want to enjoy satisfying levels of nicotine to get it through products that don’t have all of the risks associated with the combustion of tobacco."