Reduced-Risk Product Development

A long-term commitment

For more than a decade, PMI has dedicated significant resources to the development and scientific assessment of non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes. We refer to these products as Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs) because they have the potential to reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases.

Since 2008, we have invested over USD 2 billion in fundamental research, product development, scientific substantiation and adult smoker understanding. We have over 430 scientists, experts and staff, with an impressive diversity of backgrounds ranging from materials science and consumer electronics to clinical science and systems toxicology. The team contributing to developing these products also includes an extensive global network of research and technology partners.  

Our goal

A growing number of public health experts agree that for Reduced-Risk Products to benefit public health, two conditions be met. First, products need to present less risk than cigarettes. Second, adult smokers need to find these products acceptable and switch to them. We agree and are investing our resources in the development of products that meet both of themorese criteria.

Eliminating burning: The principle behind our product development

Contrary to what many people believe, experts agree that nicotine, while addictive, is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. When a cigarette is lit, the burning of tobacco and other materials produces thousands of chemicals, many of which are widely recognized as being associated with the development of smoking-related diseases. Each of our product platforms is designed to significantly reduce or eliminate the formation of these chemicals, while approaching as much as possible the taste, nicotine delivery and ritual characteristics of combustible cigarettes.

Different solutions for a wide range of consumer preferences

When deciding between products, smokers look for combinations of:

  • Taste;
  • Sensory experience;
  • Ritual characteristics;
  • Nicotine delivery; and
  • Other product characteristics such as branding and price.

To address these different preferences, our current portfolio of RRPs includes four product types: two products that use different innovations to heat rather than burn tobacco, and two e-vapor products that do not contain tobacco and are based on different technologies. To date we have over 1000 patents granted worldwide relating to RRP platforms and over 2000 pending applications on new RRP developments.



  • Platform 1 uses state-of-the-art electronics to heat a tobacco stick to around 300 degrees Celsius to generate a flavorful nicotine-containing aerosol. In comparison, the tobacco in a burning cigarette reaches a temperature of up to 800 degrees Celsius.  
  • Platform 2, also a heated tobacco product, is closer to the look and feel of a cigarette but does not involve electronics like Platform 1. It utilizes a pressed carbon heat source that, once lit, heats the tobacco to similar temperatures as Platform 1 and generates a nicotine-containing aerosol.
  • Platform 3 is derived from technology developed by Professor Jed Rose and other co-inventors from Duke University. It generates an aerosol of nicotine salt that is formed by the chemical reaction of nicotine with a weak organic acid. The product replicates the feel and ritual of smoking without tobacco and without burning.  
  • Platform 4 is comprised of our portfolio of e-cigarette products. These products generate nicotine-containing aerosols by heating a liquid. While we have products on the market today based on current e-cigarette technology, we are working on an improved next generation version.
Reduced Risk Products (RRPs) is the term we use to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. PMI’s RRPs are in various stages of development, and we are conducting extensive and rigorous scientific studies to determine whether we can support claims for such products of reduced exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents in smoke, and ultimately claims of reduced disease risk, when compared to smoking cigarettes. Before making any such claims, we will rigorously evaluate the full set of data from the relevant scientific studies to determine whether they substantiate reduced exposure or risk. Any such claims may also be subject to government review and authorization, as is the case in the USA today. - See more at: External reference  

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