Performance specifications for heated tobacco products — an overview of BSI PAS 8850:2020
The growing prevalence of heated tobacco products worldwide has led several national standardization bodies to establish voluntary product category standards. Such standards are typically performance-based, meaning that they maintain technological neutrality whilst providing quantitative means to differentiate heated tobacco products from combusted products such as cigarettes based on the absence of combustion. This is achieved by means of the assessment of levels of specific combustion markers in heated tobacco aerosols. In addition, such standards typically include quality and safety requirements for intended use for consumables, electronics, and manufacturing processes. It is important to note that these voluntary standards do not imply reduced risk from heated tobacco products relative to cigarettes.
One of the most extensive voluntary specifications currently available is the British Standards Institution (BSI) Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 8850:2020 “Non-combusted tobacco products. Heated tobacco products and electrical tobacco heating devices. Specification.” This contribution provides an overview of BSI PAS 8850:2020, specifically highlighting those elements that make it a performance-based standard. The key differences between performance-based and design-based standards and their pros and cons are further discussed.