BAT calls for collaboration to accelerate tobacco harm reduction
29 September 2022
- Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Growth Officer, delivered a keynote speech at the 2022 Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) in Washington, D.C.
- Mr Wheaton called for global collaboration to accelerate tobacco harm reduction
- BAT is firmly on track to deliver A Better Tomorrow™, aiming for 50 million adult consumers of non-combustible products by 2030
BAT’s Chief Growth Officer, Kingsley Wheaton, called for greater collaboration between the industry, governments, and intergovernmental organisations to accelerate tobacco harm reduction becoming the tobacco control policy of choice.
While reducing the health impact of BAT’s business is the company’s “North Star”, Mr Wheaton stressed that to bring about change, a whole-of-society approach is needed.
“We must provide adult consumers with a portfolio of products that are a better choice than cigarettes. And, so that consumers are able to make informed decisions about those choices, public health needs to accurately communicate risk, while the industry should be able to responsibly communicate the benefits of switching via appropriate marketing freedoms”, Mr Wheaton said.
For BAT’s part, the business is firmly on track to achieve 50 million adult consumers of non-combustible products by 2030. The company is also investing heavily in research and development (R&D), such as its state-of-the-art Innovation Hub in Trieste, Italy, and conducting industry-leading science, with one recent study showing smokers who switched exclusively to BAT’s glo product saw significant and sustained improvements in several indicators of potential harm1.
The keys to unlocking the total transformation of the industry, and positively impacting public health outcomes were noted as:
- Continue to produce robust and accessible science – science is key to unlocking industry transformation, and cannot be done by industry figures alone. The voice of global public health scientists validating the role of tobacco harm reduction is needed.
- Maintain the combination of insights and innovation – marrying the science of tobacco harm reduction is necessary to build A Better Tomorrow™. Ultimately, it is the consumer that will decide which products they use.
- Let trusted brands drive change responsibly – in Vuse and glo™, BAT has created two billion-dollar brands2 which are signposts for quality. Freedoms to responsibly inform adult smokers about the potential benefits of these products compared to smoking are key to delivering tobacco harm reduction.
- Transition from the old tobacco control approach of “quit or die” to sustainable change – where appropriate tobacco harm reduction policies have been adopted, such as in the UK and Japan, smoking rates have reduced.
- Embrace change and progression – fostering engagement between governments, intergovernmental bodies and industry figures is necessary to facilitate the exchange of crucial knowledge and data. The Forum itself was called upon by Mr Wheaton to be an intermediary between the industry and others.
In the spirit of collaboration, BAT has a strong presence at GTNF 2022. Alongside Mr Wheaton, BAT leaders sharing insights into how science, technology and innovation are driving forward BAT’s progress include David O’Reilly, Director of Scientific Research; Carlista Moore Conde, Group Head of New Sciences; Sharon Goodall, Group Head of Regulatory Science; and Flora Okereke, Head of Global Regulatory Insights and Foresights.
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- New study reveals positive long-term impact of switching from cigarettes to glo™
- BAT Preliminary Results announcement for year ended 31 December 2021
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