Cigarette smoke contains nicotine, a natural constituent in tobacco, and many harmful chemicals. These toxins – not the nicotine – are the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. We are developing alternative products to cigarettes, which contain nicotine and offer a satisfactory taste to current adult smokers, but without the smoke.
We’ve focused on two ways to do that, both of which eliminate the burning (combustion) of tobacco. The first is to heat tobacco to generate a flavourful nicotine-containing vapour while significantly reducing the levels of harmful chemicals in the vapour. The other way is to produce a nicotine-containing vapour without using tobacco. And this is just the beginning.
Through intensive research and development, we have managed to create two breakthrough heated tobacco products which both heat tobacco in a distinct way.
Thanks to sophisticated electronics, our Tobacco Heating System (THS) heats specially prepared and blended tobacco to just below 350°C, without combustion, fire, ash, or smoke. This generates a flavourful nicotine-containing vapour, releasing the true taste of heated tobacco. Since there is no burning process, the levels of harmful chemicals are significantly reduced compared to cigarette smoke. This is what makes this smoke-free product highly appealing to smokers, with millions of consumers already having made the switch.
The heating system works with three main components, a tobacco stick, a holder, and a charger. The consumer simply inserts the tobacco stick inside the holder, where it is heated up by an electronic heating blade. The consumer then draws on the tobacco stick. Once it is finished, the consumer removes the stick from the holder, and it can be disposed of safely in a waste bin. When needed, the consumer recharges the holder by inserting it into the charger.
Our other heated tobacco product uses an alternative source of heat to extract tobacco flavours and nicotine from tobacco leaves. It is carbon-heated and has a look and feel similar to a cigarette, without being one. The carbon heat source at the end of is ignited. Heat is then transferred to a uniquely processed tobacco plug. The consumer puffs on the product to inhale a flavorful nicotine-containing vapour until the end of the experience. The patented design prevents the tobacco from burning.
We are also developing two product platforms that contain nicotine but not tobacco. These tobacco-free products produce a nicotine-containing vapour in distinctly different ways.
One product platform heats an e-liquid containing nicotine and flavours with an electric heater to generate an e-vapour. This platform includes various e-cigarettes that are currently available in the U.K., Spain and Israel. It also includes our next generation e-vapour product.
The heating technology of this innovative product uses a metallic mesh with tiny holes to heat a pre-filled, pre-sealed e-liquid cartridge that contains nicotine and flavours to generate a vapour. It also features puff-activated heating and a low-liquid level detection system that ensures the consistency and quality of the vapour generated and inhaled. These improvements address the current concerns of adult users of vaping products in relation to quality, safety, consistency, and origin. We launched a city test of this platform, along with four new unique e-liquid flavour offers, in the U.K. in November 2016.
The other product platform is developed based on technology that we acquired in 2011. Products in this category replicate the feel and ritual of smoking without tobacco and without burning.Unlike an e-cigarette, this product generates a nicotine-containing vapour in the form of a nicotine salt. When a consumer draws on the mouth piece, a chemical reaction between nicotine (a weak base) and a weak organic acid takes place to produce a vapor containing nicotine salt.