We want to be part of the debate
Our experience and expertise means that we have much to offer governments and regulators when it comes to helping develop policies around tobacco.
We have always been clear that we support regulation that is based on robust evidence and thorough research, respects legal rights and livelihoods and delivers on the intended policy aims, while recognising unintended consequences.
We want to contribute to the debate, offering information, ideas and practical steps to help regulators address the key issues facing the industry.
That is why, on issues such as the regulation of Next Generation Products, we have been working with governments and regulators to ensure appropriate frameworks are in place to protect consumers while ensuring proper marketing freedoms exists. This will help us grow the category and meet demand for products that are potentially reduced risk compared with smoking conventional cigarettes.
For example, we have worked with national standards bodies in France and the UK to establish voluntary standards for vapour products, and also on the world’s first tobacco heating products standard in Russia.
However, when it comes to plain packaging, we have always believed that this policy is disproportionate, will not deliver its intended results and significantly erodes our intellectual property rights by stripping us of our right to use our trade marks.
Some regulations can also have unwelcome and unexpected consequences. For example, sudden and significant hikes in excise rates can result in price disparities between neighbouring countries, increasing smuggling across borders.
We have long supported the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying. Our Principles for Engagement provide clear guidance for our external engagement with regulators, politicians and other third parties.
We are transparent about what we think, supporting some new proposals but disagreeing with others. When we do not agree with proposed regulations, we try to be constructive and put forward alternatives that can still achieve governments' aims.