British American Tobacco - BAT advocates for a collaborative, stakeholder-inclusive approach to accelerate tobacco harm reduction

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News Release

23 September 2020

BAT advocates for a collaborative, stakeholder-inclusive approach to accelerate tobacco harm reduction

  • BAT’s A Better Tomorrow purpose driven by a focus on Innovation, Transformation and Sustainability
  • BAT progressing well towards target of 50 million consumers of non-combustible products by 2030
  • Chief Marketing Officer calls for UN-style ‘Whole of Society’ approach and proposes
    5-point plan for development of effective tobacco harm-reduction policies

BAT's Chief Marketing Officer, Kingsley Wheaton, today called for meaningful change in the way that global tobacco and nicotine policies are developed. He stressed the need for a United Nations-style “whole of society” approach to policy development and emphasised the benefits that this more stakeholder-inclusive, tobacco-harm-reduction approach could deliver.

Speaking at the first virtual Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum, Mr Wheaton also outlined the progress that BAT, the largest truly global tobacco and nicotine product company, is making in transforming its business and pursuing its purpose to build A Better Tomorrow. An ambition to reduce the health impact of its business.  He emphasised how a focus on innovation, transformation and sustainability is helping to accelerate change.

Highlighting the positive role that the industry’s expertise and science can and should play, Mr Wheaton set out a five-point framework to accelerate progress towards more effective tobacco-harm-reduction policies:

  1. An evidence-based approach - allowing robust science to lead to greater consumer choice, quality and confidence
  2. Proportionate regulation - where science-based relative risk is 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 facilitates the acceleration of movement of consumers from combustible to non-combustible products.

Kingsley Wheaton says: “At BAT, consumer-led innovation and product science are central to achieving our A Better Tomorrow purpose. We aim to reduce the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of less-risky products to our consumers.

“We believe that a multi-category approach that includes e-cigarettes, tobacco heated products, and modern oral nicotine pouches is the most effective way to appeal to the diverse preferences of adult consumers around the world.  

“We are proud of our progress. We already have nearly 12 million regular users of our non-combustible products – which keeps us on track towards our stated goal of 50 million consumers of potentially reduced-risk non-combustible products by 2030.

“However, the key to accelerating the movement of smokers to less risky alternatives cannot be solved by our industry alone. We need a seat at the harm reduction table to discuss these issues directly and openly with all stakeholders- including regulators and public health professionals alike. Only through collaborative efforts can we develop effective regulatory solutions that will enable real choice for consumers, whilst still serving tobacco-related public health objectives.”

Forward looking statements

This is a release by British American Tobacco p.l.c. References to ‘British American Tobacco’, ‘BAT’, ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ when denoting opinion refer to British American Tobacco p.l.c. (the Company, and together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”), and when denoting tobacco business activity refer to Group operating companies, collectively or individually as the case may be. This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including those made within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations reflecting knowledge and information available at the time of preparation and concerning, amongst other things, prospects, growth, strategies, compliance with regulatory guidelines, our ability to submit further regulatory applications, the success of our regulatory applications and the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries and markets in which the Group operates. BAT undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “may,” “would,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “will,” “estimate,” “strategy” and similar expressions. It is believed that the expectations reflected in this release are reasonable but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated, including uncertainties related to the impact of adverse domestic or international legislation and regulation and adverse decisions by domestic or international regulatory bodies.

Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on 26 March 2020 and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website,, and the Company’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website


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