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

 
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Sustainability Report 2011
Jean-Marc Lévy, Group Marketing Director

One of the big challenges I face in my role is this: how do we responsibly grow our business in an increasingly regulated environment?

We agree that tobacco products should be regulated – so long as the regulation is based on sound evidence and meets public health goals but doesn’t fuel the illegal tobacco trade or damage the livelihoods of retailers or tobacco farmers.

We’d like to see regulation that is well thought through. So we’re focusing on engaging with stakeholders to share our expertise and contribute objective evidence. And, of course, we continue to act responsibly in all that we do, including the development and marketing of innovative cigarettes for adult consumers.

What's the issue?

We believe that regulation should be shaped in collaboration with all stakeholders, including the tobacco industry. With our industry experience and expertise, we can be part of developing regulatory solutions.

Like any business we want to grow our market share. But we do this responsibly, not by trying to increase the number of smokers or how much they smoke, but through competitive and innovative product offers to encourage existing adult smokers to choose our products over our competitors.

The black market in tobacco is a widespread problem, but it is made worse by regulatory policies and particularly by large and sudden increases in excise tax that destabilise the market. The perpetrators in this criminal trade are underground operators and are often gangs that also traffic drugs, arms and people and may have ties to terrorist organisations.

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