Reduce Risk Picture
​Reducing Risk. Expanding Choice.​ That's where Altria is focused today.
​Reducing Risk. Expanding Choice.​ That's where Altria is focused today.
  Blue Right Reduce Risk Picture
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We believe the future of our industry is about innovation, harm reduction and informed consumer choice. We're working to provide those choices with satisfying, reduced harm products and premium brands that adult smokers want and enjoy.​
O​ur 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.​
Federal Regulation​
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."​
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​"We are actively preparing for a future where adult smokers  overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products. We have long said that providing adult smokers with superior, satisfying products with the potential to reduce harm is the best way to achieve tobacco harm reduction. And that's what we intend to do."
Howard Willard, Chairman & CEO, Altria Group, Inc.
According to data from the FDA's PATH study, over half of adult smokers would consider using a tobacco product if it had a reduced harm claim. This equates to about 22 million adult smokers who are interested in less harmful tobacco products, particularly if they receive truthful and accurate risk information.​​

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.
"A centerpiece of this comprehensive regulatory plan is acknowledging that nicotine, while highly addictive, is delivered throu​gh products on a continuum of risk. And it’s the delivery mechanism – not the nicotine itself – that is truly the issue at-hand." -  Scott Gott​lieb, M.D., Former Commissioner of Food and Drugs
In September 2018, then FDA Commissioner Gottlieb reaffirmed the FDA's central principle that the primary cause of death and disease from tobacco use isn't the nicotine in these products, but the act of combustion, which releases harmful constituents into the body. Since then, the FDA has repeatedly affirmed its view that non- combustible, reduced-risk products may offer a promising opportunity to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use for adults who continue to use tobacco products.​​

Offering Adult Smokers More Choices

Tobacco harm reduction can only be successful if smokers find less risky products satisfying. We continue to believe that no one single product platform is likely to satisfy adult smokers. Rather, we focus on offering a range of product forms and non-combustible platfo
rms that have demonstrated that they can convert adult smokers.
The U.S. market today offers the most diverse tobacco product choices anywhere in the world. Through our companies and our strategic partners, we've invested in delivering the most compelling portfolio of non-combustible products to adult smokers. We focus on meeting three important consumer expectations:​
  • Superior sensory experiences and nicotine satisfaction;
  • Reduced health risks and accurate relative risk information; and,​
  • The ability to avoid social friction associated with cigarettes, such as smoke odor, ash and social isolation.​
We've invested in three non-combustible platforms that have the potential to drive adult smoker conversion from cigarettes. These include: ​
Smokeless & Other Oral
Nicotine Containing Products
Heated Tobacco
​​We intend to offer the most satisfying and diverse choices for adult smokers – of both ours and competitive brands. Our marketing approach is designed to increase awareness and incent trial of non-combustible products by adult smokers.
We respect consumers' rights to make informed decisions about their product choices. As more relative-risk information is communicated about different products, it's our hope that many adult smokers will convert to them.​
We see this as a compelling opportunity for adult smokers, public health, and our business. We see lower-risk products as a complement to cessation and prevention strategies and, when combined, can accelerate reductions in smoking-related diseases.
Reversing Underage Use Trends

Tobacco products are for adults. And we recognize that underage use of tobacco products threatens the opportunity to reduce harm among adult smokers. 
FDA has called underage use of e-vapor an epidemic and says more must be done. We agree. That’s one reason we supported raising the minimum age of purchase for all tobacco products to 21. Today the number one way kids get tobacco products is through social access – the purchase of such products by consumers of legal age for use by minors. Making the age of purchase 21 should significantly reduce that access.  ​
Addressing the alarming rise in youth use of e-vapor is important if we want policy makers to more fully support the idea of giving adults greater access to and information about less harmful products. To learn more about our efforts to prevent kids from using any tobacco products, click here.​

Seeking Authorization to Communicate Reduced Harm Information
We can only compete in the marketplace with products authorized by the FDA. And we can only communicate reduced ​harm information if the FDA permits.
That's why we are seeking authorization from FDA to put truthful, accurate information about reduced-risk products in the hands of consumers so that they can make a choice that's right for them.​
To date, we have:​
  • Submitted a Modified Risk Tobacco Product application (MRTPA) for Copenhagen Snuff.
  • Supported Philip Morris International (PMI) on its MRTPA application for IQOS. Philip Morris USA has an exclusive agreement with PMI to commercialize IQOS in the United States.​
We believe it is critically important that FDA take steps to foster the innovation of potentially reduced risk products. For tobacco harm reduction to be successful, a marketplace of FDA-authorized reduced-risk products must be in place, with more information about the relative risks of those products being communicated to adult smokers. The regulatory system should respect the rights of adults to make decisions based on accurate information. To make this a reality, FDA needs to establish clear foundational rules for bringing these new innovative products to market.​

Conducting the Science Spotlight Image
​​Conducting the Science
Regulatory & Legislative Policies Teaser Image
Regulatory & Legislative Policies
Communicating Tobacco Health Effects Spotlight Image
Communicating Tobacco Health​ Effects
Helping Reduce Underage Tobacco Use Spotlight Image
Helping Reduce Underage Tobacco Use
Supporting Cessation Spotlight Image
Supporting Cessation
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Marketing Responsibly

​1See, e.g., Mitchell Zeller et al., The Strategic Dialogue on Tobacco Harm ReductionA Vision and Blueprint for Action in the US, 18 Tobacco Control J. 324, 325 (2009); Dorothy K. Hatsukami et al., Developing the Science Base for Reducing Tobacco Harm, 9 Nicotine & Tobacco Res. S537, S546 (2007).​​