Daily Archives: May 2, 2009

Tobacco products should be appropriately regulated.

Globally, more than one billion adults are consumers of tobacco products. We aim to increase both the size and value of our market share among these consumers and to deliver value to our shareholders.
Given that tobacco consumption poses real and serious risks to health, we agree that tobacco products should be appropriately regulated. We recognise the need to demonstrate high standards of corporate conduct and to act in a transparent and responsible way within our marketplace.

Addressing the scientific challenges around combustible PREPs

Setting the standard
Standard scientific tests are essential to assess modified combustible tobacco products and their potential for reducing the risks of one or more specific diseases.
Our approach to developing and validating such tests takes into account the views of, among others, the World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) and the US Institute of Medicine. We have made good progress in developing meaningful measurements of exposure to some tobacco smoke toxicants.
We are also developing and conducting studies that we hope will help in the even more difficult task of assessing potential harm. Our approach to assessing reduced exposure and risk
Our current focus is on understanding cigarette
smoke chemistry and smoking behaviour, and
evaluating the biological indicators (known
as ‘biomarkers’) of exposure and of harm,
in order to develop and test candidate PREPs.
Before a product can be described as a
PREP, it must be evaluated through a set of
agreed tests that make up a larger overall
assessment framework. Currently, there is no
recognised assessment framework for PREPs
and we are working to develop one that will
be acceptable to regulators.
As set out in our 2007 Report, our scientific
research to assess reduced exposure and
risk of novel combustible products has four
key elements:
1. Understanding the yield
Measuring how much overall smoke and
specific smoke toxicants people take from
a product.
2. Measuring the dose
Measuring the amount of smoke toxicants
absorbed into the body using biomarkers
of exposure.
3. Reducing the dose
Demonstrating that modified products with
lower levels of smoke toxicants (as measured
in the laboratory) show corresponding
reductions in exposure to the same toxicants
in clinical studies.
4. Linking reduced exposure to lower risk
Providing a sufficient weight of evidence
from a range of laboratory tests and clinical
studies to demonstrate that reductions in
exposure to smoke toxicants could
reasonably be expected to reduce the risk
of one or more specific diseases.
Combustible PREP use in the population
Another complication is the possible effect
on public health of introducing combustible
PREPs to the market. In such a scenario, apart
from the potential benefits to an individual,
there is some uncertainty over whether
introducing such products might increase the
incidence of consumption and thereby result
in a greater risk for the entire population.
For more information on this concept see the
definition of the risk/use equilibrium to the left.

Harm reduction

The term ‘tobacco harm reduction’ does not have a single meaning that is accepted by all. To the majority of public health policy makers, it means urging people not to start using tobacco products or to quit if they do. The US Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines it as “minimizing harms and decreasing total morbidity and mortality without completely eliminating tobacco and nicotine use”. The IOM concept is gaining acceptance among a section of the public health community who believe it an important addition to current smoking prevention and cessation efforts.
Our approach is to pursue the research, development and test marketing of
innovative tobacco products that will have consumer acceptability and will be recognised by scientific and public health communities and regulators as posing reduced risks to health.
We will continue to develop and validate scientifically meaningful measurements for exposure to tobacco smoke toxicants and to investigate how we might measure potential harm;
We will conduct our first clinical study by end 2009 of a combustible prototype product that in smoking machine tests produces lower levels
of certain smoke toxicants compared to conventional cigarettes;
We will continue to develop and update our scientific website, www.bat-science.com;
We will continue to work with our External Scientific Panel to help inform our scientific research programme; We will continue to present our scientific research at international conferences and publish it in peer-reviewed journals; We will continue with two snus test markets where snus was not an existing category and aim to expand to a further test market during 2010; and We will continue to engage with regulators and scientific, medical and public health stakeholders on the potential contribution snus could make in reducing the overall public health impact of tobacco use.

Should a tobacco company aim to be sustainable?

Following the publication of our 2007 Report, stakeholder feedback was positive about the clarity of our approach and our willingness to address the difficult topics inherent in the tobacco industry. However, there were two basic challenges to our approach which we believe it is appropriate to address in this Report. First is the question of whether, given the nature of our products, we should attempt to build a sustainable business. Second is a challenge concerning our lack of engagement with those stakeholders who are most critical of us. To explore these issues further, we met with a group of CSR opinion leaders in a formal dialogue session. We wanted to invite people who are critical of tobacco, as we were keen to better understand their views, but found it difficult to secure their attendance.
Nevertheless, we had a challenging and valuable debate on the fundamental
question of sustainability and the tobacco industry with those who did attend.
Sustainability and the tobacco industry
Addressing sustainability issues, such as striving to develop and introduce potentially reduced-risk products and upholding high standards of corporate conduct in the marketplace, is fundamental to being a responsible tobacco business. We see it as particularly important for businesses in controversial or challenging industries to address sustainability, as this is where the most significant issues exist and where the greatest progress can be made. Stakeholders in dialogue liked our overall approach to sustainability. However, we were also challenged to be more ambitious in
our target setting in terms of addressing the health impact of our products and we were sked to adopt a long-term goal that would signal our intent in this area. There was debate about the articulation of a goal to reduce the

31.3 percent of adult Turks smoke, study reveals

In Turkey, 31.3 percent of people — 15.2 percent of women and 47.9 percent of men — age 15 and over smoke occasionally or every day, a survey has revealed. The survey was conducted in 14 countries, including Turkey, as part of a project initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It records the prevalence of tobacco use and related issues, such as quitting smoking and overcoming an addiction to nicotine.