•BAT Group Chief Marketing Officer Kingsley Wheaton called for a collective approach where everyone stakeholder has a voice on the same.
•Wheaton noted that the ban on alternative tobacco products will undermine the progress that has been made in the making of reduced risk tobacco and nicotine products for smokers.
The British American Tobacco has called for the revoking of bans placed on alternative tobacco products.
Speaking during the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum 2021, BAT Group Chief Marketing Officer Kingsley Wheaton called for a collective approach where everyone stakeholder has a voice on the same.
“There is evidence that following bans, vapour consumers can revert to smoking – undoing the good work of category development and its evolution,” he said.
“Last year, I called for such a “whole-of-society approach” as referenced by the United Nations to this important public health issue. An approach where everyone, irrespective of their affiliation must have a voice.”
Wheaton noted that the ban on alternative tobacco products will undermine the progress that has been made in the making of reduced risk tobacco and nicotine products for smokers.
He added that the alternative products are not entirely risk free, but based on the weight of scientific evidence and a complete switch from cigarettes, they are reduced risk.
“We see some countries moving to ban, or heavily restrict access to vapour products, despite the available scientific evidence. If the WHO recommends a ban on e-cigarettes at COP9 in November, that could seriously undermine the progress being made in making reduced risk tobacco and nicotine products widely available,” Wheaton said.
He added, “This is neither a ‘battle’ to be won nor lost. It is about science, consumer choice and the need for pragmatic solutions. If we fail to come together, determined to find solutions, there will be no winners.”
He said that BAT is leading the pack by transforming their business by creating new products that are backed by science, to provide adult smokers with innovative, less risky alternatives.
Wheaton called for more collaboration and innovation to help come up with progressive policies that are founded in science and not opinion.
“When governments and policy makers adopt proportionate, risk-based regulation, we all make progress. We need this to be a reality for the ‘whole of society’,” he said.