tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.


Addressing the scientific challenges around combustible PREPs

Setting the standard
Standard scientific tests are essential to assess modified combustible tobacco products and their potential for reducing the risks of one or more specific diseases.
Our approach to developing and validating such tests takes into account the views of, among others, the World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) and the US Institute of Medicine. We have made good progress in developing meaningful measurements of exposure to some tobacco smoke toxicants.
We are also developing and conducting studies that we hope will help in the even more difficult task of assessing potential harm. Our approach to assessing reduced exposure and risk
Our current focus is on understanding cigarette
smoke chemistry and smoking behaviour, and
evaluating the biological indicators (known
as ‘biomarkers’) of exposure and of harm,
in order to develop and test candidate PREPs.
Before a product can be described as a
PREP, it must be evaluated through a set of
agreed tests that make up a larger overall
assessment framework. Currently, there is no
recognised assessment framework for PREPs
and we are working to develop one that will
be acceptable to regulators.
As set out in our 2007 Report, our scientific
research to assess reduced exposure and
risk of novel combustible products has four
key elements:
1. Understanding the yield
Measuring how much overall smoke and
specific smoke toxicants people take from
a product.
2. Measuring the dose
Measuring the amount of smoke toxicants
absorbed into the body using biomarkers
of exposure.
3. Reducing the dose
Demonstrating that modified products with
lower levels of smoke toxicants (as measured
in the laboratory) show corresponding
reductions in exposure to the same toxicants
in clinical studies.
4. Linking reduced exposure to lower risk
Providing a sufficient weight of evidence
from a range of laboratory tests and clinical
studies to demonstrate that reductions in
exposure to smoke toxicants could
reasonably be expected to reduce the risk
of one or more specific diseases.
Combustible PREP use in the population
Another complication is the possible effect
on public health of introducing combustible
PREPs to the market. In such a scenario, apart
from the potential benefits to an individual,
there is some uncertainty over whether
introducing such products might increase the
incidence of consumption and thereby result
in a greater risk for the entire population.
For more information on this concept see the
definition of the risk/use equilibrium to the left.

In 2009, we plan to conduct a clinical study
of some modified combustible tobacco
products to determine if they result in
reduced toxicant exposure levels in the
people using them. Participants in the study
will switch from their conventional cigarettes
to the modified combustible products.
In terms of building our portfolio of
biomarkers of exposure, we are aiming to
expand the number of biomarkers available
and are looking at new techniques to
measure exposure. An even bigger challenge
will be to progress in the search for
biomarkers of potential harm. We expect
to complete the analytical phase of a series
of collaborative clinical studies in 2009 and
hope to gain some important information
that may assist in the search for potential
biomarkers of harm. One study, in Italy,
involves researching identical twins,
where one twin is a smoker and one is
not. Studying twins allows us to eliminate
the factor of potential genetic effects on
biomarker variation.
The results of these and other studies, in
combination with laboratory tests using
human cell cultures exposed to smoke,
will increase our knowledge base.

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