british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Sustained engagement


External Scientific Panel

During 2009, we progressed our work with the External Scientific Panel of leading experts convened to give their perspectives and to help inform our scientific research programme. They have expertise in smoke chemistry, toxicology, physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling, genetics, molecular techniques, lung cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, epidemiology and smokeless tobacco products.

Sustained engagement


In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA was given authority under new legislation to regulate tobacco products in the USA including the evaluation of submissions on candidate ‘modified risk tobacco products’. It is currently the only regulator which has specific legislative authority to do this. The general requests for public comments on aspects of this new legislation gave us an opportunity to describe our scientific research programme to the FDA. We support tobacco regulation which is based on sound science, and we hope that this new US tobacco legislative model, which includes establishing a Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, may be of interest to other regulators.

Our scientific website

In 2009, we continued to update Opens in new window, our dedicated science website. Additional site content included information on our biotechnology research and in vitro testing and on smoking machines, smoking behaviour and the biological and chemical characterisation of snus. We also undertook a substantial review of visitors’ opinions and a benchmarking study of the website and we plan to use this to further develop the site’s content and usability.

Publishing and presenting

We attended and presented at several key conferences in 2009. We had four poster presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in Dublin. We also made presentations on tobacco harm reduction at the annual conference of the International Harm Reduction Association in Bangkok, the Frontiers in Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention conference in Allahabad, India and the Tabinfo meeting in Bangkok.

We have published more scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals than in any other year to date, increasing from just a handful a few years ago to 32 in 2009. We have also encouraged debate on the issue of tobacco harm reduction in the wider scientific media, resulting in articles in high-profile publications such as the Financial Times and New Scientist.


Sustained engagement: what’s next?

We will continue:
  • Working to improve openness and transparency of our scientific research activities;
  • To engage with regulators and the public health community in an effort to reach common ground on tobacco harm reduction;
  • To work with the External Scientific Panel to help inform our scientific research programme, to submit our research results for publication in peer-reviewed journals and to present our research at key international conferences;
  • To engage with the wider scientific media on the issue of tobacco harm reduction; and
  • To update Opens in new window