OVERVIEW

We are currently witnessing the biggest consumer shift in our history, with millions of smokers around the world transitioning to potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. 

We want smokers to choose products with lower health risks and encourage them to make that change by providing an portfolio of high quality NGP products, all underpinned by leading-edge science.

At the heart of our NGP portfolio is the pioneering vapour brand, blu.

Beyond vapour we are continuing to strengthen our multi-category approach, extending our presence in heated tobacco and modern oral nicotine.

To keep up with NGP developments, see the news section on this page or follow us on Twitter @ImperialBrands

VAPOUR

Vapour products are battery-powered devices that heat e-liquids to create a vapour which is inhaled by the user. E-liquids are produced in varying nicotine strengths, with nicotine-free variants also available.

These products are fundamentally different from all tobacco-based products and devices; they do not contain tobacco leaf.

A growing number of regulators and public health bodies have concluded that vapour products are less harmful alternatives to smoking and therefore have a role to play in reducing tobacco-related disease. In the UK, for example, Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have concluded that vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking.

We are represented in the vaping category by the pioneering brand blu, which is managed by our Fontem Ventures business and celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2019.

blu has strong established positions in the USA and UK, the world’s two largest vapour markets, and is available in a growing number of other countries including France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain.

Vapour products fall into two broad sub-categories: closed or open systems. Closed systems include the fast-growing pod format; simple-to-use devices such as myblu which feature a pre-filled pod of e-liquid to combine power with portability. Open systems enable the user to refill the e-liquid.

LATEST NGP NEWS

22 January 2020

Fontem Ventures believes a recent vape-related briefing from the World Health Organisation contained a series of misleading and erroneous claims, as well as ignoring key scientific evidence supporting the category’s continuing contribution to tobacco harm reduction.

Fontem US statement on FDA guidance related to certain flavored vaping products

3 January 2020

ITG Brands and Fontem US, Inc. respond to new guidance released by the Food and Drug Administration that will halt the manufacture, distribution and sale of certain flavors sold for vaping cartridge systems.

Fontem Ventures responds to CDC update on US lung injuries connected with illicit vaping products

11 November 2019

Fontem welcomes the US Centers for Disease Controls update that vitamin E acetate has been identified as present in 100% of tested samples from victims of lung injuries in the US. Vitamin E acetate is not, and has never been, an ingredient in blu e-vapour products.

Fontem US statement on court ruling regarding PMTA timeline

12 July 2019

Fontem statement on the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland adjusting the timeline establishing the FDA's PMTA pathway for electronic nicotine delivery systems.

SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

NGP technology is evolving quickly and we substantially enhanced our scientific and technical capabilities in 2017 with the acquisition of the innovation business Nerudia.

Nerudia is focused on developing a pipeline of NGP innovations that will accelerate smoker conversion rates and stop smokers reverting to tobacco.

The investment built on our acquisition of the global patent portfolio for vapour technologies from the original inventor of the e-cigarette Hon Lik in 2013. Mr Hon was welcomed to our business as the head of our Research and Development team in China – a position he still holds to this day.

We are committed to making a significant contribution to the growing body of research around vaping and other products. This includes assessing their safety and demonstrating the potential to reduce the risk of diseases associated with smoking when adult smokers switch to our NGP. 

We set high standards to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers and regulators, and to enable the development of new and potentially safer products.

HEATED TOBACCO

We have added to our growing repertoire of NGP products with our Pulze heated tobacco device and ID heat sticks, which were launched in a city pilot in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2019. A national rollout continues and we are also assessing other potential market launches.

As the name implies, these products heat a portion or rod of tobacco, releasing nicotine and other tobacco emissions at substantially lower levels than cigarettes.

ORAL NICOTINE PRODUCTS

Through our Skruf brand, we have a strong position in snus, an oral tobacco product with a long history of use in Scandinavia.

We are expanding our presence in the next generation of oral nicotine products, growing sales of tobacco-free and other variants across northern Europe in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland, with plans to expand further.

STRATEGY

Our strategy is aligned to our purpose of creating something better for the world’s smokers and focuses on driving performance in three key areas. 

SUSTAINABILITY

Our sustainability strategy is integral to the long-term success of our business and underpins our drive to create shared value for our stakeholders.

BRAND PORTFOLIO

We continue to reshape our brand portfolio, prioritising our high-quality Asset Brands to drive growth.