DOI: 10.2478/cttr-2023-0018 ISSN: 2719-9509

A Comparative In Vitro Toxicological Screening of a Closed-End Heated Tobacco Product *

Zhenyu Niu, Qi Zhang, Meng Nie, Lili Fu, Junjun Luo, Xinduo Li, Jie Zhou, Jiakai Liu, Zheng Song, Chuan Liu, Ke Zhang, Jingjing Liang, Xingtao Jiang, Zehong Wu, Bin Li, Te Xu
  • General Medicine


Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are a recent category of tobacco products, with their relative safety compared to cigarette smoking and potential to help smokers to quit being two reasons why regulators may consider their market approval. Designed to heat tobacco rather than to burn in order to produce aerosol, different heating techniques are applied to commercial HTPs, which may result in differing aerosol formation. Therefore, each product requires separate assessment. This work focuses on a closed-end HTP (coded as HTP-A), which is electrically heated and designed to allow puffing air flow to bypass its tobacco section, resulting in reduced oxygen concentration within the tobacco section during heating and aerosol forming. To provide a preliminary aerosol chemistry and in vitro toxicological screening, this study assessed HTP-A against a commercial electrically heated HTP (IQOSTM, coded as HTP-B) and a 3R4F reference cigarette. Under Health Canada Intense (HCI) smoking regime, the levels of 9 regulatory priority toxicants in the aerosol of HTP-A were either reduced or comparable to those in HTP-B on a per-stick basis. Additionally, both HTPs showed significant reduction (greater than 90%) in comparison to those measured in mainstream smoke of 3R4F cigarette for these toxicants. Using a set of standard in vitro toxicological assays (Ames, Micronucleus and Neutral Red Uptake), the two HTPs showed no observable responses while significant toxicity responses were recorded for 3R4F’s total particulate matter. Based on these preliminary results, the novel closed-end HTP-A design may provide similar toxicological profiles to the comparator HTP-B. Further toxicological and clinical assessments are warranted to evaluate HTP-A’s potential for exposure or disease risk reduction. [Contrib. Tob. Nicotine Res. 32 (2023) 146–156]

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