For decades, we have been committed to offering adult smokers better alternatives and ensuring a regulatory framework to determine if those products offer lower risk and how to communicate about them. Now is the time to realize the promise of tobacco harm reduction.

Today’s adult tobacco consumers are seeking new options, including those that reduce risk. In fact, approximately 22 million U.S. adult smokers are interested in less harmful tobacco products.

Guided by Altria’s Vision to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a smoke-free future, our employees are committed to researching, developing, investing in and promoting products along the continuum — all within a framework regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

By providing adult smokers with a variety of smoke-free products, Altria is actively working to reduce the overall harm of tobacco products.


The "Risk Cliff"

FDA and other public health authorities agree that there is a broad "continuum of risk" among tobacco products, with combustible cigarettes at the highest end of that spectrum and complete cessation at the lowest end. In fact, when FDA announced its Comprehensive Plan in 2017, then-FDA Commissioner Gottlieb stated FDA policy should be used as a vehicle to "move addicted smokers down that continuum of risk to these less harmful [innovative] products." 2

While there may be differences in risk profiles between specific smoke-free products, it will take years of epidemiology to quantify those differences. The body of evidence, does however, indicate a profound risk differential between combustible and smoke-free product categories as a whole. Data suggest that a two dimensional "Risk Cliff" model is a useful description of the relative risk between combusted and smoke-free products. With millions of U.S. adult smokers seeking less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, we must provide adult smokers with information that can facilitate transition to a variety of smoke-free products.

Our Scientific Approach

We follow a rigorous scientific framework for evaluating potentially reduced-risk tobacco products and supporting product applications to FDA. This framework enables us to evaluate tobacco products from product design to individual risk assessment to overall population impact.

Adapted from Nutt, et. al Estimating the Harms of Nicotine-Containing Products Using the MCDA Approach. Eur. Addict Res 2014; 20:218-225.

"… we must acknowledge that there’s a continuum of risk for nicotine delivery. That continuum ranges from combustible cigarettes at one end, to medicinal nicotine products at the other.” Remarks by Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Protecting American Families: Comprehensive Approach to Nicotine and Tobacco (June 28, 2017), available at