BAT study dissects the toxicological effect of nicotine pocket items
New research by BAT suggests that contemporary oral goods (MOPs) revealed lower toxicity reactions in certain assays than traditional cigarettes.
Scientists analysed the toxicological impact of one of BAT’s nicotine pouch products, previously called Lyft and now called Velo, in an in vitro laboratory-based test.
Velo was found to be less biologically active than cigarette smoke and snus, even at greater concentrations of nicotine, across a selection of tests. In many cases, Velo failed to elicit a biological response in any respect, supporting the view that MOPs will be less risky than conventional cigarettes and Swedish-style snus for consumers that change completely.
Pre-clinical scientist Emma Cheung, who led the study, said the results added to the growing body of evidence to support the reduced-risk possibility of MOPs compared to continuing to smoke.
What are contemporary oral goods (MOPs)
MOPs are similar in appearance and use to snus, a oral smokeless tobacco product that’s been widely used in Sweden since the 1800s.
There are decades of research (including epidemiology) on snus, with evidence demonstrating it is a reduced-risk product compared to using traditional cigarettes.
Consumers place the pouch between their upper and gum lip, typically for 30 to 40 minutes, and the pouch is disposed of at the designated compartment in the lid of the can.
BAT provides MOPs with and without tobacco. Velo (formerly called Lyft) contains high quality nicotine, water and other high quality food-grade ingredients, such as eucalyptus and pine tree fibers, sweeteners and margarine. Velo does not contain tobacco.
Developing a novel testing method
There has been a lack of consensus on how best to assess MOPs in an in vitro surroundings, so scientists at BAT developed a novel approach in the hope that it would result in a more standardized methodology.
In this study, the group devised a novel system for the extraction of pouch material, offering a consistent concentration of nicotine and easy in vitro evaluation.
MOP and CRP1.1 extracts were generated by incubating one pouch in 20ml of cell culture media, while the aqueous extract of 1R6F was prepared by smoking one cigarette to 20ml of cell culture media.
A set of modern in vitro screening assays were then undertaken using human oral fibroblasts (HGF) and human lung epithelial cells (H292) to asses viability, mobile health markers, oxidative stress and genotoxicity.
Cytotoxicity was measured by ToxTracker and high content screening, and, in every assay, Velo showed reduced toxicity compared to CRP1.1 and 1R6F.
BAT hopes this approach will allow different laboratories to adopt this process in future, resulting in a more standardized methodology for analyzing MOPs.
Journal of Food and Clinical Nutrition