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Rigorous and objective industry funded evaluation of potential reduced exposure products will require innovation and flexibility, but must begin now
Potential reduced exposure products (PREPs) for smokers are marketed by the tobacco industry as a way for smokers to reduce toxicant intake while continuing to use tobacco.1 In the past, similarly marketed products, so called “low yield” cigarettes, were financial successes but public health failures.1,2 Deceptive marketing of these early PREPs helps to explain their financial success,3 while a lack of objective pre-market evaluation of users’ smoke toxicant exposure helps to explain their public health failure.1,4 Given this history, anyone interested in public health is correct to be sceptical of the marketing that surrounds a new generation of PREPs in the USA (for example, Accord®, Advance™, Aeros®, Eclipse®, Quest®) and Europe (for example, NicStic®). Even more important, public health advocates are correct to insist that PREPs be evaluated comprehensively, rigorously, and objectively.1,5 This type of evaluation will help ensure that policymakers and consumers are as knowledgeable as possible regarding whether or not these products increase, decrease, or fail to change smokers’ toxicant exposure and cessation rates, as well as tobacco use initiation rates among non-smokers. Of course, comprehensive evaluation will be costly, and the industry that develops the PREPs, and stands to profit from them, must pay for that evaluation. …
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