British American Tobacco p.l.c. is owned by shareholders whose rightful expectation is that we should grow its profitability by the members of its Group competing effectively for market share amongst adult consumers of tobacco products.
In doing so, we take a long term view and believe that high standards of behaviour underpin sustainable shareholder value.
We recognise that a reduction in the health impact of tobacco consumption is a legitimate public health objective. However, tobacco products are legal, significant demand for them exists and seems likely to continue and informed adults have rights to consume them and to choose the brands they prefer. We have a role in helping to preserve our consumers' rights, as do others.
Our responsibility is to compete lawfully and vigorously for our share of the legitimate market amongst informed adult tobacco consumers.
- Focus on understanding adult tobacco consumers' preferences and the characteristics of the markets where we wish to compete;
- Provide a range of quality products and brands meeting these different preferences;
- Within the law, use all appropriate means to communicate responsibly with these consumers about our brands.
We share a role with other parts of society in respecting the rights and freedoms of informed adults to consume tobacco products.
For our part, we will:
- Work with all relevant stakeholders for preservation of opportunities for informed adults to consume tobacco products;
- Work with governments to preserve the rights of informed adult consumers to be able to choose the products and brands they prefer.
We see it as the responsibility of governments, when legislating, to uphold consumers' rights and freedoms of choice, to make balanced decisions based on sound evidence and to uphold our right to conduct a legal and competitive business.
We will support governments in doing so by:
- Providing evidence to them on these issues;
- Emphasising the right of informed adults to consume tobacco products;
- Advocating fairness and consistency in the enforcement of tobacco regulations.