Should the government regulate BIG tobacco

British American Tobacco Germany - Regulation

We advocate regulation that is based on solid evidence and thorough research, respecting legal rights and livelihoods, and achieving intended policy goals while avoiding unintended consequences.

Together with industry, governments and health authorities should play a key role in unlocking the potential of potentially reduced risk products (PRRPs) for risk reduction purposes. For these products to be a success in reducing risk, they must be flanked by an effective regulatory and legal framework that enables responsible growth and encourages informed consumer choices. This must then be supplemented by responsible industry practice.

We want to contribute to the discussion and offer information, ideas and practical measures to assist regulators on key industry issues.

PRRPs can only develop their potential to reduce the risk of tobacco consumption if the right regulatory framework is in place. As science continues to demonstrate the more presumable benefits of PRRPs as an alternative to smoking, we are seeing changes in legislation and regulation in various markets around the world.

For this reason, we are already working with governments and regulators, in particular on issues such as the regulation of PRRPs, to ensure that an appropriate framework protects consumers on the one hand and guarantees appropriate marketing freedoms on the other.

The UK is an example of what can be done with regulators and health authorities. Thanks to influential publications by Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians on the potential to reduce the risk of e-cigarettes, the UK government has adopted a balanced regulatory regime that discourages young people from consuming and encourages adult smokers to switch to potentially risk-reduced products .

The governments of New Zealand and Canada have a similar approach: In both countries, ministries of health recommend smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

The BAT Group also contributes to the development of international standards, such as the ISO standard for vapor products and the CEN guidelines for aerosol measurement in vapor products, both of which were published in 2018.

At the same time, we point out unexpected dimensions of regulation: some regulatory measures can also lead to undesirable consequences. For example, sudden and massive increases in excise taxes can lead to price differences between neighboring countries and therefore to an increase in cross-border smuggling.

The group has long supported the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) principles for transparency and integrity in lobbying. Our Principles for Engagement provide clear guidelines for representing our interests vis-à-vis regulators, politicians and other third parties.

We are transparent about our views; we accept some new proposals but reject others. If we do not agree with a proposed regulatory measure, we endeavor to proceed in a constructive manner and submit alternatives with which the goals desired by the state can still be achieved.