British American Tobacco - Reduced-risk products*† regulation

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Reduced-risk products*† regulation

Regulation and standards to enable responsible growth

The establishment of sensible regulation and clear product standards can help promote the growth of reduced-risk products*†.

Regulation

Regulation of New Category products continues to evolve. More comprehensive, evidence-based oversight of this rapidly evolving sector is needed.

Globally, there are regulators passing progressive laws that allow and encourage adult smokers to switch to New Category products, and other regulators who view them more cautiously. As the science and evidence to substantiate the harm reduction potential of these products grows, we expect to see more countries passing progressive regulations, further accelerating New Category product growth. Key to developing effective policies to accelerate tobacco harm reduction as quickly as possible is a stakeholder-inclusive, whole-of-society dialogue that includes regulators, policymakers, consumers and the industry. Any regulation around New Category products should be based on science, not opinion.

We hold ourselves to high standards and hope these will become an industry benchmark and used as the basis for future regulation. That’s why we share our approach, information and expertise with industry groups, governmental technical advisory committees, standards bodies and other key stakeholders. For example, our senior leaders and scientists presented at the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum in 2021. Our Chief Marketing Officer gave the keynote speech on how we can make a difference to society by embedding and driving tobacco harm reduction. And, on a panel called ‘Science Driving Policy’, our Scientific Research Director emphasised that, to accelerate tobacco harm reduction, we need more robust scientific data and evidence-based policies.

How we think New Category products should be regulated

  1. An evidence-based approach allowing robust science to lead to greater consumer choice, quality and confidence.
  2. Proportionate regulation where science-based evidence and risk are understood and differentiated to guide regulatory policy.
  3. Freedom to innovate to ensure products can evolve to meet changing consumer preferences.
  4. Engagement, dialogue and communication to ensure regulators and consumers can make well-informed decisions.
  5. Responsible marketing freedoms that facilitate the acceleration of movement of consumers from combustible to non-combustible products.

Leading the way on product standards

Ensuring high quality and consumer safety is at the heart of how we design, develop and manufacture our products. We would like to see these high standards become the benchmark for the industry and future regulation. It is only with such consistent, universal standards for RRPs that consumers and regulators will get the assurances they need.

That’s why we’ve been openly sharing our approach, contributing our expertise and participating as part of multi-stakeholder groups and consultations in the development of robust, industry-wide quality and safety standards for RRPs.

We are also actively encouraging the industry, vapers and public health communities to collaborate in this process. We do this through our work with taskforces, such as those of the Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco (CORESTA), and our presentations on the global implications of product standards at conferences, such as those of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), and the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF).

We contribute to the development of international standards by working bodies such as the British Standards Institute, ISO and the European Standards Body, CEN, who we have collaborated with on new vaping standards.

We believe that high product standards, agreed by all relevant parties and based on robust science, are needed to ensure consumer safety and confidence in RRPs. Because these aren’t currently available, we have voluntarily developed and implemented our own approaches.

Our scientists, covering many disciplines, scrutinise every single detail of our products for safety and quality. We have developed robust product assessment procedures through cutting-edge science and peer-reviewed research.

This includes our research published on topics such as the toxicological risk assessment of e-liquid flavours and tests to investigate the effects of vapour in RRPs, compared with cigarette smoke.

We also look closely at the sale of RRPs online and how to deal with the risk that these age-restricted products could end up in the hands of under-18s. There are currently no universally agreed standards for online age verification for access to age-restricted products and services – we believe these need to exist.

We have worked with a global provider of online age-verification solutions and implemented them on sites in various markets. We have also worked with the UK Digital Policy Alliance, together with representatives from other industries with age-restricted sites and products, to find ways of ensuring appropriate online age verification.

* Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.

† Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without agency clearance.

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