Studies show vapor and THPs cause minimal teeth, skin and wallpaper staining


Studies by scientists at British American Tobacco have shown that aerosol from potentially reduced-risk products (PRRPs), such as vapour and tobacco heating products (THPs), cause significantly less staining to tooth enamel, skin, cloth and wallpaper than does the smoke from conventional cigarettes.

The study results are presented today at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland.

PRRPs do not involve combustion; the vapour and aerosol they produce are less complex and contain significantly lower levels of certain toxicants as compared to cigarette smoke*. Vaping devices and THPs also do not produce a sidestream aerosol, resulting in reduced odour on consumers’ hands and clothes, and lower environmental exposure for bystanders, as compared to conventional cigarettes.

It is well known that cigarette smokers can develop stains that discolour teeth enamel. Although this staining is often called nicotine staining, it is actually caused by the tar in cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke can also stain wallpaper, skin, and other materials.

BAT’s scientists assessed the impact of aerosols from PRRPs. In the series of studies, a reference cigarette (3R4F), a THP (BAT’s glo), and two innovative vapour products were assessed. To assess the staining levels, a wide range of materials were used, including wallpaper samples, porcine skin samples, and bovine enamel blocks.

In order to mimic conditions in the mouth, the enamel blocks were first incubated with saliva to allow the formation of a pellicle layer, a protective protein film that is normally present on teeth. They were then assessed before, during, and after exposure using a standard technique for assessing toothpaste or teeth-whitening agents.

To assess staining of the wallpaper and material samples required modification of BAT’s cell culture chamber to allow the samples to be attached and exposed. To assess skin staining, porcine skin samples were incubated with particulate matter contained in the aerosols (isolated from the smoke/aerosols).

The results were remarkable — exposure of tooth enamel, skin, wallpaper and material samples to aerosols from vapour products and THPs did not cause staining (levels of staining were comparable to untreated controls).

“A lack of combustion and significantly reduced emissions from glo as compared to conventional cigarettes mean there is less material to deposit and odour to linger. Again, this reflects consideration for others by those using the glo product,” said John McAughey, BAT Principal Scientist for aerosol science.

These results show switching completely from cigarettes to vapour products or THPs may offer cosmetic and social benefits for consumers. “These benefits around social consideration and personal hygiene are really resonating with users”, said Senior Scientist Annette Dalrymple, who presented the results at the conference.

“The data generated from this study clearly show that the vapour product and THP assessed caused minimal discoloration — very promising for consumers. However, further studies are required to understand the long-term effect on teeth staining and oral health when smokers switch to using PRRPs.”


Notes to Editors


  • About British American Tobacco: British American Tobacco is a global tobacco and Potentially Reduced Risk Products company with brands sold in more than 200 markets. It employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and has over 200 brands in its portfolio, with its cigarettes chosen by one in eight of the world’s one billion smokers. Leading global brands include Dunhill, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.
  • t

  • About Potentially Reduced Risk (PRRPs): Potentially Reduced Risk Products is part of the British American Tobacco Group and is focused on developing and delivering high-quality alternative nicotine and tobacco products for adult consumers in the key areas of Vapour, Oral and Tobacco Heating Products. For more information see
  • t

  • About Tobacco Harm Reduction: The only way to avoid the risks associated with tobacco use is not to consume tobacco at all, and the best way to reduce the risks is to stop using tobacco. However, the concept of harm reduction is increasingly being considered in relation to tobacco use. Harm reduction is about finding practical ways to minimise the health impact of an inherently risky activity or behaviour, without seeking to stop it entirely. It is a key element of BAT’s business strategy and is being discussed by some regulators. We think it’s important to work towards producing consumer-acceptable, potentially reduced-risk products. We believe that tobacco regulatory policies should include harm reduction approaches for the millions of adults globally who will continue to consume tobacco products.
  • t

  • The Public Health Impact of e-cigarettes: Many in the public health community believe e-cigarettes offer great potential for contributing to tobacco harm reduction policies. A 2018 updated evidence review by Public Health England, an executive body of the UK Department of Health, has stated that they estimate that vaping is around 95% less harmful than smoking*.

*This does not necessarily mean these products are less harmful than tobacco products

For more information: email or call +44 (0)7929257291

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.