british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2011 - Viewpoint from our Group Scientific Director

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Sustainability Report 2011
David O’Reilly, Group Scientific Director

Of course, the only way to avoid the health risks associated with tobacco products is not to use them. However, with the global population increasing, the World Health Organisation has estimated that the number of smokers worldwide is going to increase.

More and more, it seems clear to me that, to reduce the health impacts from smoking, prevention and quitting initiatives alone will not be enough. We need a broader approach – one that accepts that many adults are going to continue to use tobacco and nicotine products. That means developing reduced-risk products.

In order to achieve this, first we need to collaborate with others to determine the appropriate scientific and regulatory frameworks for the development and scientific assessment of these products and monitoring of their use. In my newly created Management Board position as Group Scientific Director, I am committed to seeing that our product strategy continues to be based on robust scientific evidence.

What's the issue?

The greatest negative impact of our business is the real and serious health risks of tobacco products. So developing reduced-risk products for those adults who use tobacco products is a priority. There are many challenges in this: the science is complex; collaboration is needed between scientists, tobacco companies and regulators; products need to meet consumer expectations; and we need a regulatory framework that supports tobacco harm reduction. We are committed to meeting these challenges.


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