british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Harm reduction


We will strive to bring commercially viable, consumer acceptable reduced-risk products to the market.

Why haven’t you launched a ‘safer’ cigarette?

The science needed to demonstrate that any new products pose reduced risks to health does not yet exist, nor is there any agreed science-based regulatory framework for evaluating such products. It will be some time before any tobacco business will be able to launch a ‘safer’ cigarette product which has been demonstrated to present lower risks, but we believe we are making progress.

2009 progress in brief

We aspire to reduce the harm caused by smoking by evolving our products to a portfolio of commercially successful lower risk products that meet consumer and societal expectations.

We recognise that we will only be able to succeed if others support this aspiration.

We have made real progress in our scientific research into harm reduction. We have published more scientific papers than in any other year to date and we are starting to analyse and publish results from our clinical studies. Engagement with stakeholders on scientific issues is also improving and our External Scientific Panel continues to help inform our scientific research programme.

Our 2010 goals

For addressing the scientific challenges
  • Analyse and submit for publication the results of our first clinical study of a range of combustible prototype products, the smoke of which may have lower levels of toxicants compared to conventional cigarettes;
  • Develop and validate scientifically meaningful measurements for exposure to tobacco smoke toxicants and investigate how we might measure potential harm; and
  • Invigorate our biotechnology programme in our search for new technologies to reduce tobacco smoke toxicant levels.

For sustained engagement

  • Engage with regulators in an effort to reach common ground on tobacco harm reduction;
  • Work with the External Scientific Panel, who continue to help inform our scientific research programme;
  • Present our scientific research at key international conferences and maintain the number of our publications in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Engage with the wider scientific media on the issue of tobacco harm reduction; and
  • Further update Opens in new window in 2010.

For smokeless tobacco

  • Learn from our existing snus test markets and aim to expand into a new market in 2011;
  • In 2010, submit for publication the results of our progress in developing methods for use in the biological and chemical testing methods for snus; and
  • Engage widely on the role a regulated form of snus could play in a harm reduction strategy to reduce the public health impact of smoking.
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