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BAT Calls for Collaboration to accelerate tobacco harm reduction

British American Tobacco has called for collaboration to accelerate tobacco harm reduction

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British American Tobacco (BAT) has called for collaboration to accelerate tobacco harm reduction. The statement came as part of a keynote speech made by Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Growth Officer, delivered at the 2022 Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) in Washington, D.C.

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.

BAT says its 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 harm.

Wheaton said the following are keys to unlocking the total transformation of the industry, and positively impacting public health outcomes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Let trusted brands drive change responsibly – in 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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