The establishment of sensible regulation and clear product standards can help promote the growth of potentially reduced-risk products.
Along with the industry, governments and the public health community have a key role to play in maximising the potential for PRRPs to contribute to harm reduction. For these products to be a success, they must be supported by effective regulatory and policy regimes that enable responsible growth and promote informed consumer choice. This must then be complemented by responsible practices by the industry.
That is why, on issues such as the regulation of PRRPs, we have been working with governments and regulators to ensure appropriate frameworks are in place to protect consumers while ensuring proper marketing freedoms exists. This will help us grow the category and meet demand for products that are potentially reduced risk compared with smoking conventional cigarettes. PRRPs can only meet their tobacco harm reduction potential if the right regulatory conditions are in place.
As the science increasingly points to the likely benefit of PRRPs as an alternative to smoking, we are seeing policy and regulatory shifts in several markets globally. The UK is an example of what can happen with the support of regulators and public health bodies. Driven by influential reports from Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians on the reduced risk potential of vapour products, the UK Government has implemented a balanced regulatory regime that discourages youth uptake while also encouraging adult smokers to migrate to potentially less harmful products. It is essential that these products are not marketed to youth. In markets where the standards in place are insufficient to ensure this is the case, we welcome industry-wide responsible marketing and youth access prevention standards.
We also contribute to the development of international standards, such as ISO’s vaping standard and CEN’s guidance document on vaping aerosol measurements, both published in 2018. Prior to that, we worked with national standards bodies in France and the UK to establish voluntary quality and safety standards for vapour products, as well as on the world’s first tobacco heating products standard in Russia.