British American Tobacco - World Vape Day: BAT publishes comprehensive review highlighting 10 years of scientific evidence on vaping

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World Vape Day: BAT publishes comprehensive review highlighting 10 years of scientific evidence on vaping

28 May 2021

  • Multiple scientific studies show switching completely to vaping with high-quality products has reduced health risks* compared to smoking, contrary to many consumer beliefs
  • Study data indicates that vaping products can provide an alternative for smokers who would not otherwise quit
  • Review supports the important role for vaping products in Tobacco Harm Reduction
  • Reinforces the importance of BAT’s unique consumer-centric model and how we are reducing the health impact of our business and building A Better Tomorrow™ through our multicategory approach

To mark World Vape Day, BAT has today published a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for vaping products (e-cigarettes), their potential health effects and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction.

This review shows that, over the past decade, the number of people who incorrectly believe vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes has risen in the UK, Europe, and the U.S.  This is despite several scientific reviewsi,ii,iii published in the same period showing that vaping products manufactured in accordance with quality standards present less risk to health than cigarettes.*

According to population modelling studies cited in the review, a significant reduction in premature deaths could be achieved if current smokers switched exclusively to vaping rather than continuing to smoke. These modelling studies use population data and simulations to project the health-related outcomes associated with the long-term risks of smoking versus vapour use over time.

Dr. David O’Reilly, Director of Scientific Research at BAT, commented: “This paper is a comprehensive summary of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers and other evidence published by an estimated 50 institutions over the past decade.

“The scientific evidence is clear – but consumer misperceptions remain. In England and the United States, only one in three adults is aware that there is scientific evidence available, including from leading public health authorities, that supports the conclusion that vaping is less harmful than smoking.

“The reality is that many leading public health authorities have reported that vaping is less harmful than smoking, and that this harm reduction potential can be maximised if those smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke switch exclusively to using vapour products.

“We hope this paper will be used as a resource by public health authorities, and support adult smokers seeking to understand the breadth of scientific evidence that exists to inform their choices.”

 “Reducing the health impact of our business is at the heart of our purpose – to create A Better Tomorrow by offering the widest range of reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes*,” David O’Reilly continued. “This is why we aim to have 50 million consumers of our New Category products, which include our vapour product range, Vuse, by 2030.”

This review highlights that vaping products can effectively compete with combustible cigarettes by providing nicotine and the sensorial enjoyment sought by smokers.  Therefore, access to high-quality, extensively tested and well-regulated vapour products is crucial.  However, vaping will only be considered a compelling alternative to smoking if public health institutions unambiguously and accurately inform smokers that switching completely to vaping can reduce their health risks.  

The paper also reviews current vapour product regulations, and notes that these regulations largely relate only to labelling, ingredients and taxation – but not manufacturing standards.  This has resulted in highly variable product quality standards globally.

The review stresses the need for consistent product manufacturing regulations and the universal adoption of robust product stewardship standards by manufacturers with the aim of increasing public confidence in vaping.

Read more by clicking on these links:

Notes to Editors

The White Paper reviewed more than a decade of scientific data and peer-reviewed studies from multiple sources worldwide to understand and evaluate different aspects of e-cigarettes and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction, including the importance of design, testing, and adherence to high manufacturing standards.

Our review assesses published studies of how sensorial aspects of vapour products, including flavours and vapour aerosol visibility, play an important role in such product acceptability for former smokers looking for reduced risk* alternatives to cigarettes and for current adult vapers who want to avoid returning to smoking. The data indicate that adult vapers prefer e-cigarettes offering a variety of flavours, and that this variety makes vapour products a more viable alternative to continued smoking.

* 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 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without FDA clearance. 

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including "forward-looking" statements made within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "outlook", "target" and similar expressions. These include statements regarding our customer target ambition, New Categories revenue targets and our ESG targets.

All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors. 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. A review of the reasons why actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations disclosed or implied within forward-looking statements can be found by referring to the information contained under the headings “Forward-looking statements” and "Group Principal Risks " in the 2020 Annual Report and Form 20-F of British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT).

Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gov and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website www.bat.com.

Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this release and 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.

i McNeill et al. London: Public Health England, 2015.
ii McNeill et al. London: Public Health England, 2020.
iii National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine Public health consequences of e-cigarettes. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2018.

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