Ahead of Japan Tobacco International's presentation at this year's ENDS conference we spoke to Dr. Ian Jones, Vice President Reduced-Risk Products Science, to get insight into how risk is determined, what we know today, future industry opportunities, stumbling blocks and much more.
Q1. Your colleague will be presenting on ‘How do you determine reduced risk? What do we know today?’ this June, could you give us a sneak peek of what they will be sharing?
Determining reduced-risk can be summed up simply as understanding what goes into a product (i.e. the ingredients), what comes out of the product (i.e. the emissions) and how these impact on the user. At JTI we undertake a range of chemical, toxicological and other assessments to address these points. It is a bit like completing a jigsaw puzzle. The results of each assessment add another piece to the puzzle. With several pieces in place, we can start to see the overall picture, which is roughly where we are at today on e-cigarette science for example. However, we really need all the pieces fitted together in order to start to see the final picture.
Q2. What do you think are the most significant future opportunities in this industry over the next 12-24 months?
The opportunities are out there for both big and small companies to drive further innovation in this highly dynamic sector. I expect to see further improvements in both device design and taste. Both are critical to further enhancing the consumer experience.
Q3. What do you see as the biggest stumbling blocks for the industry at the moment?
Over-regulation and or taxation remain the key threats. While there are very encouraging signs in some countries, such as lifting of bans on e-cigarettes, there is hardening of regulations in others.
Q4. Why do you feel it is important for people to attend ENDS 2018?
Conferences such as ENDS 2018 bring together a wide range of stakeholders and provide an environment for constructive dialogue and information sharing. No one person or company is able to determine the future of products such as e-cigarettes. Only by coming together and discussing the issues at hand can the industry, and other interested parties, help drive the category forward.
Q5. What are you most looking forward to at ENDS 2018?
Engaging in discussion with my industry peers.
Ramunas Macius, VP of Reduced-Risk Products Corporate Development at JTI, will be presenting alongisde James Murphy of British American Tobacco to provide a dual perspective on the intersection of science and regulation. Ramunas will provide insight in 'Reduced-risk regulation - constraints and chances' whilst James will discuss 'Next-generation products: A science and regulation update'.
Other speakers in the session include MHRA, ECigIntelligence and Broughton Laboratories.
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