Smoking is a cause of various serious and fatal diseases such as lung cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease
At British American Tobacco, we have long accepted that smoking is risky. Our business is not about persuading people to smoke; it is about offering quality brands to adults who have already taken the decision to smoke. We strongly believe that smoking should only be for adults who are aware of the risks.
Put simply, our view on smoking is this:
British American Tobacco companies produce fine quality products that provide pleasure to many millions of adult smokers around the world. Along with the pleasures of cigarette smoking come real risks of serious diseases. We also recognise that for many people smoking is difficult to quit.
The risks associated with smoking are primarily defined by epidemiological studies (statistical studies in large populations) that show groups of lifetime smokers have a far higher incidence of certain diseases than comparable groups of non-smokers. These risks tend to be greater in groups that start smoking younger, smoke for longer, and smoke more cigarettes per day.
The statistics, however, do not tell us whether a particular individual smoker will avoid an associated disease by smoking less, and all smoking behaviours are associated with significantly increased health risks. Studies also show that the only way to avoid smoking-related risks is not to smoke in the first place, and the best way to reduce the risks is to quit.
For more about the health risks see Health risks of smoking.