28 May 2021
• Multiple scientific studies show switching completely to vaping with high-quality products has reduced health risks* compared to smoking, contrary to many consumer beliefs
• Study data indicates that vaping products can provide an alternative for smokers who would not otherwise quit
• Review supports the important role for vaping products in Tobacco Harm Reduction
• Reinforces the importance of BAT’s unique consumer-centric model and how we are reducing the health impact of our business and building A Better Tomorrow™ through our multicategory approach
To mark World Vape Day, BAT has today published a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for vaping products (e-cigarettes), their potential health effects and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction.
This review shows that, over the past decade, the number of people who incorrectly believe vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes has risen in the UK, Europe, and the U.S. This is despite several scientific reviews i,ii ,iii published in the same period showing that vaping products manufactured in accordance with quality standards present less risk to health than cigarettes.*
According to population modelling studies cited in the review, a significant reduction in premature deaths could be achieved if current smokers switched exclusively to vaping rather than continuing to smoke. These modelling studies use population data and simulations to project the health-related outcomes associated with the long-term risks of smoking versus vapour use over time.
Dr. David O’Reilly, Director of Scientific Research at BAT, commented: “This paper is a comprehensive summary of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers and other evidence published by an estimated 50 institutions over the past decade.
“The scientific evidence is clear – but consumer misperceptions remain. In England and the United States, only one in three adults is aware that there is scientific evidence available, including from leading public health authorities, that supports the conclusion that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
“The reality is that many leading public health authorities have reported that vaping is less harmful than smoking, and that this harm reduction potential can be maximised if those smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke switch exclusively to using vapour products.
“We hope this paper will be used as a resource by public health authorities, and support adult smokers seeking to understand the breadth of scientific evidence that exists to inform their choices.”
“Reducing the health impact of our business is at the heart of our purpose – to create A Better Tomorrow by offering the widest range of reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes*,” David O’Reilly continued. “This is why we aim to have 50 million consumers of our New Category products, which include our vapour product range, Vuse, by 2030.”
This review highlights that vaping products can effectively compete with combustible cigarettes by providing nicotine and the sensorial enjoyment sought by smokers. Therefore, access to high-quality, extensively tested and well-regulated vapour products is crucial. However, vaping will only be considered a compelling alternative to smoking if public health institutions unambiguously and accurately inform smokers that switching completely to vaping can reduce their health risks.
The paper also reviews current vapour product regulations, and notes that these regulations largely relate only to labelling, ingredients and taxation – but not manufacturing standards. This has resulted in highly variable product quality standards globally.
The review stresses the need for consistent product manufacturing regulations and the universal adoption of robust product stewardship standards by manufacturers with the aim of increasing public confidence in vaping.
Read more by clicking on these links:
• Scientific Review Summary
• Full Review paper: Camacho, Oscar M., Ebajemito, James K., Coburn, Steven, Prasad, Krishna, Costigan, Sandra and Murphy, James J.. "Evidence From the Scientific Assessment of Electronic Cigarettes and Their Role in Tobacco Harm Reduction" Contributions to Tobacco & Nicotine Research, vol.30, no.2, 2021, pp.63-108. https://doi.org/10.2478/cttr-2021-0007
Notes to Editors
The White Paper reviewed more than a decade of scientific data and peer-reviewed studies from multiple sources worldwide to understand and evaluate different aspects of e-cigarettes and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction, including the importance of design, testing, and adherence to high manufacturing standards.
Our review assesses published studies of how sensorial aspects of vapour products, including flavours and vapour aerosol visibility, play an important role in such product acceptability for former smokers looking for reduced risk* alternatives to cigarettes and for current adult vapers who want to avoid returning to smoking. The data indicate that adult vapers prefer e-cigarettes offering a variety of flavours, and that this variety makes vapour products a more viable alternative to continued smoking.
BAT is a leading, multi-category consumer goods business with a purpose to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of its business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for adult consumers. The company continues to be clear that combustible cigarettes pose serious health risks, and the only way to avoid these risks is not to start or to quit. BAT encourages those who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch completely to scientifically-substantiated, reduced-risk alternatives*. In order to deliver this, BAT is transforming into a truly consumer-centric multi-category consumer products business. BAT employs over 53,000 people and operates in over 180 countries, with 11 million points of sale and 45 factories in 43 markets. The company’s Strategic Portfolio is made up of its global cigarette brands and a growing range of reduced-risk* New Category tobacco and nicotine products and traditional non-combustible tobacco products. These include vapour, tobacco heating products, modern oral products including tobacco-free nicotine pouches, as well as traditional oral products such as snus and moist snuff. In 2020, we had 13.5 million consumers of our non-combustible products, a rise of 3 million on the year before. The BAT Group generated revenue of £25.8 billion in 2020 and profit from operations of £9.9 billion.
*Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including "forward-looking" statements made within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "believe," "anticipate," "could," "may," "would," "should," "intend," "plan," "potential," "predict," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "outlook", "target" and similar expressions. These include statements regarding our customer target ambition, New Categories revenue targets and our ESG targets.
All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors. It is believed that the expectations reflected in this release are reasonable but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. A review of the reasons why actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations disclosed or implied within forward-looking statements can be found by referring to the information contained under the headings “Forward-looking statements” and "Group Principal Risks " in the 2020 Annual Report and Form 20-F of British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT).
Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gov and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website www.bat.com.
Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this release and BAT undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
i McNeill et al. London: Public Health England, 2015.
ii McNeill et al. London: Public Health England, 2020.
iii National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine Public health consequences of e-cigarettes. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2018.
NOTES TO EDITORS
BAT is a leading, multi-category consumer goods business, established in 1902. Our purpose is to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for our consumers. The company has announced a target of increasing the number of its non-combustible product consumers from 11 million to 50 million by 2030; and to achieve at least £5 billion in New Categories revenues in by 2025.
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