We have a clear ambition to lead the transformation of our industry by offering adult consumers a range of potentially reduced-risk products.
For decades, we have built our business on successfully meeting the preferences of adult smokers with world-famous cigarette brands, superior blends and market-leading innovations.
We have been satisfying consumers, delivering shareholder value and creating valued employment for over a century. However, we are entering the most dynamic period of change our industry has ever encountered.
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 .
The advent of new and better consumer technologies meant that, in 2012, we articulated a new vision – to be the best at satisfying consumer moments in “tobacco and beyond” – with consumers right at the centre of our strategy.
We were clear then, as we are now, that we would build our business based on outstanding products, informed consumer choice and a drive towards a reduced-risk portfolio. More choice, more innovation, potentially less risk.
It is widely accepted that most of the harm associated with tobacco is caused by inhaling the smoke produced by the burning of tobacco. That is why we are dedicated to the development and sale of a range of potentially reduced-risk products that provide the enjoyment of smoking without burning tobacco.
While we cannot be certain whether or how many smokers will switch to potentially reduced-risk products, we are committed to making a range of high-quality, innovative products as widely available as practicable to address the varied preferences of our consumers.
We believe that by doing this, and working with regulators to establish supportive regulatory regimes, many millions of smokers will increasingly make the choice to switch.
This transformation is larger than just BAT. Lasting change will only be achieved by a combination of the commitment and product investment from companies like BAT and the support of regulators through the establishment of sensible regulation promoting a spectrum of potentially reduced-risk products.
We also need the objective and balanced support of public health bodies, politicians, media and academics in driving informed choice and consumer trust.
If we can all work successfully together we can drive a triple win. Our consumers will have a range of potentially safer choices; society could benefit from real progress in tobacco harm reduction; and our shareholders will own an even more sustainable and profitable business.