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Harm reduction

British American Tobacco’s goal is to reduce the public health impact of its products.

Tobacco products pose real and serious health risks and the only way to avoid these risks is not to use them. But many adults choose to smoke, so the Group’s top priority continues to be working towards reducing these risks and making available a range of less risky tobacco and nicotine-based alternatives. At the same time, the British American Tobacco’s strategy is to offer alternatives to smoking, with the potential for harm reduction.

An unprecedented confluence of technology, societal change and public health awareness has created a unique opportunity: the opportunity to make a substantial leap forward in our long-held ambition to provide our consumers with potentially reduced-risk tobacco and nicotine choices.

It is widely acknowledged that most toxicants linked to smoking related diseases are produced by burning tobacco. This is why, British American Tobacco’s Research & Development Centres focus on the development of Next Generation Products which offer a similar to smoking experience but with no combustion.

“The safest estimate right now is that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking”
Public Health England

“…The use of Heated Tobacco Products is harmful to health, but probably less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes…”
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

The approach

The Group’s research and development programme is focusing on tobacco harm reduction, working on developing a next generation of tobacco and nicotine products that offers a less risky alternative to conventional cigarettes. This includes Vype, an electronic cigarette launched in 2013, a nicotine inhalation product being prepared for launch in the UK by subsidiary Nicoventures, as well as innovative tobacco heating devices.

British American Tobacco is working with scientists and regulators to promote this next generation of products and advocate a regulatory approach that puts consumer safety and product quality first, while encouraging the growth of new less risky nicotine products that could help smokers cut down or quit.

Transparency and world-class science

The Group is committed to exemplary corporate conduct and transparency across the whole business – this includes its research and development.

Being transparent about the science is central to this approach. Details of the Group’s scientific research programmes are published on a dedicated science website, www.bat-science.com . The results of scientific studies are submitted to peer-reviewed journals, and scientists present widely at leading international conferences and events.

We understand that some people are sceptical about research conducted and funded by the tobacco industry, but we know it’s the Group’s responsibility to contribute to the science of tobacco harm reduction.

British American Tobacco have state-of-the-art R&D facilities and hundreds of scientists covering many different disciplines, working in collaboration with external researchers around the world, such as in the USA, Canada, Spain, Germany, China and Russia.

The Group actively encourages regulators and other scientists to visit its research facilities in the UK.

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