british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Smokeless tobacco


The research, development and test marketing of smokeless tobacco products, including snus, a type of smokeless tobacco, is an important part of our approach to tobacco harm reduction.



Snus is a heat-treated, finely ground, moist tobacco sold either loose or in pouches that are placed under the upper lip.


Smokeless tobaccoSmokeless tobacco science

In 2009, we presented several posters on smokeless tobacco product science at international conferences, including the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. These papers covered, among other things, the chemical composition of smokeless tobacco products, the transfer of snus constituents, including toxicants, during its use by consumers and a model system for assessing snus extracts. This model measures what is released from the snus product in the laboratory, which may be an indication of what happens in human use.

We also published a paper updating scientific information on how people use pouch and loose snus, which is important in the development of risk assessment models for snus and its ingredients.

We have a product development facility at our Group Research & Development centre in Southampton. To help further our understanding of smokeless tobacco, we have established a second product development facility in Malmö, Sweden.

We helped drive the establishment of the Smokeless Tobacco Task Force by CORESTA, an organisation that promotes international cooperation in tobacco science. This task force will look to encourage the development of a reference snus product. Reference products are used to allow better comparison of one study against another.

Test marketing

We hope that our test marketing of snus will continue to produce valuable insights into consumer preferences and acceptance. However, our aim to expand into a new test market in 2010 has been delayed until 2011 to allow us more time to thoroughly prepare for this new test market.


Smokeless tobacco: what’s next?

We hope that our test marketing of snus will continue to provide valuable insights into consumer preferences and we are continuing to develop techniques to expand our research into smokeless tobacco products. We will strive to engage with regulators on the role that a regulated form of snus could play in a harm reduction strategy to reduce the public health impact of smoking.