British American Tobacco - BAT launches virtual R&D Visitor Experience, showcasing the world-class science behind next generation reduced-risk*† nicotine products

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News Release

19 January 2022

BAT launches virtual R&D Visitor Experience, showcasing the world-class science behind next generation reduced-risk*† nicotine products

  • New R&D Virtual Visitor Experience launched, allowing visitors to ‘walk through’ BAT’s research & development labs, meet leading scientists and view results of new studies
  • Experience gives visitors the chance to explore the company’s scientific approaches and advances that support Tobacco Harm Reduction
  • Showcases R&D activities in important and emerging areas, including biology, chemistry, toxicology, sensory science, aerosol analysis, product safety, consumer insights, and plant biotechnology
  • Highlights BAT’s focus on science to reduce the health impact of its business and deliver A Better Tomorrow™

BAT has created a virtual R&D Visitor Experience , an online tour of its global Research & Development hub in Southampton, UK, that allows people to explore its cutting-edge science and innovation.

The experience builds on BAT’s open and transparent approach to the science underpinning its reduced-risk*† product portfolio and beyond nicotine activities. The company regularly welcomes visitors in person to its global R&D hub, with more than 3,500 people viewing the facilities first-hand since 2011. However, with travel significantly reduced, the virtual experience allows people from across the globe to access and understand BAT’s scientific research, Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) activities, and gain perspectives and insights from experts.

Dr. David O’Reilly, Director, Scientific Research at BAT, said: “At BAT R&D is fundamental to what we do. Our focus on science and research has enabled us to make significant progress in developing and evolving our New Category products, which are rigorously tested and scientifically substantiated as reduced-risk alternatives*† to cigarettes. Our R&D is based around consumer preferences, as well as applying evolving science and innovation to our products. This allows us to offer a range of enjoyable, reduced-risk*† alternatives to cigarettes, while ensuring we maintain very high safety and quality standards.

“Our new R&D Virtual Visitor Experience demonstrates the breadth of science we are undertaking and the robust scientific framework we use to evaluate and support the role our products play in delivering Tobacco Harm Reduction.”

With 360-degree lab tours, animations, videos, scientist profiles, podcasts, and more, the R&D Virtual Visitor Experience is the one-stop hub for those looking to find out about BAT’s science. The tour illuminates BAT’s purpose to build A Better Tomorrow™ and mission to reduce the health impact of its business. BAT invests almost £350 million a year1 to find innovative ways to reduce its effects on public health and aims to have 50 million consumers of its non-combustible products by 2030.

BAT conducts research in a broad spectrum of scientific fields, including molecular biology, toxicology, and chemistry, fuelling the relentless innovation and learning that set the company apart as an industry leader.

Visitors to the R&D virtual experience will be able to explore:

  • Sensory Science: This unique department helps BAT better understand the consumer product experience and decode that experience into actionable insights that support product and brand development
  • Biotechnology Laboratory: Here, BAT’s scientists leverage their expertise across whole genome sequencing, metabolomics, and computational biology to deliver enhanced consumer experiences. The teams also grow plants and identify sustainable sources of compounds
  • Biology Laboratory: This is where scientists test BAT’s New Category products for their potential impact on human cells compared to cigarette smoke.
  • Battery Laboratory: This facility has revolutionised the way BAT’s rechargeable devices are designed, developed and tested. Batteries are put through their paces to ensure they meet high quality standards.

To find out more, visit 


Media Centre
+44 (0) 20 7845 2888 (24 hours)  | @BATplc 

Investor Relations
Victoria Buxton: +44 (0)20 7845 2012
John Harney: +44 (0)20 7845 1263

* 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.

1 BAT Science and Innovation Report 2020-2021 

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, and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website

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.