Vype: Our first e-cigarette product launched in the UK
Our core business is, and will remain, in tobacco. But we’re also in the business of meeting consumer needs and we don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
We are developing a range of reduced-risk tobacco and nicotine products for adult smokers who are seeking alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
In recent years there has been an emergence of e-cigarette products on the market in many countries around the world, and that trend looks set to continue. We think that e-cigarettes and other innovative nicotine product categories could play an important role in helping to reduce the public health impacts of cigarette smoking and other tobacco use.
We place great strategic importance on our work in this area of tobacco harm reduction. Our intention is to be a leader in these new product categories.
We appointed Des Naughton to the new role of Managing Director, Next-Generation Products, in March 2013 and launched our first e-cigarette product in the UK in July 2013. The e-cigarette is branded Vype and will be available for sale on-line with plans to move into mainstream retail outlets from September 2013.
At British American Tobacco, we understand all the different elements of what smokers like about the experience they get from cigarettes. This means we can better meet the needs of those smokers who are seeking an alternative to cigarettes.
We believe we’re well placed to improve the e-cigarette and other nicotine product offerings for smokers to make these a more satisfying experience for them. Our experience also means we can make improvements in areas such as product quality.
If we are successful in developing and bringing to market a range of products that meet the needs of adult smokers seeking safer alternatives to cigarettes, this will help to meet the objectives of a number of leading public health professionals. And of course it will also make commercial business sense to us and our shareholders.
We support a regulatory approach that puts consumer safety and product quality first, while allowing the appropriate level of innovation, marketing and distribution freedoms needed for these important next-generation product categories to grow.
Clearly, sales to under-18s must be prohibited and adult consumers need all the relevant information about the products they choose.
We don’t believe that medicinal regulations that restrict availability and use are appropriate for these products. Neither do they require any special excise regime in line with tobacco products (which they are not).
Where a medicinal framework is proposed, such as for e-cigarettes in the UK, these products should still be sold over-the-counter through general retailers such as supermarkets, newsagents and grocery stores – just as regular painkillers and cough medicines are already sold in the UK.
Nicotine: The facts
Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco leaf and detectable levels are also found in plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines (eggplant).
Regulatory-approved nicotine products, as an alternative to conventional cigarettes, offer significantly reduced health risks.
It is largely the toxicants found in cigarette smoke that cause the majority of smoking-related diseases – not the nicotine itself.
Nicotine is not completely harmless, but “the likelihood is that smoking electronic cigarettes is better than smoking tobacco. Electronic cigarettes have the potential to save lives.”*
*Professor John Britton, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians’ Tobacco Advisory Group and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham in the UK.
Want to know more about nicotine?
Nicotine Explained provides an overview of the facts behind nicotine and takes a look at what public health groups think. It also tries to answer some of the questions around nicotine use.
Nicotine Explained (2.4 mb)