Regulation of our industry has increased in recent years, including more prominent health warnings on packs and restrictions or bans on advertising and public place smoking.
The scope of regulation is expected to widen further as countries implement the provisions of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which is setting the agenda for most national tobacco regulation worldwide. Tobacco consumption poses real and serious risks to health, so we agree that the manufacture, distribution, marketing and sale of tobacco products should be regulated in appropriate ways.
Balanced evidence-based tobacco regulation
We support, and want to help deliver, balanced evidence-based tobacco regulation that can help to measurably reduce the public health impacts of the use of tobacco products, while respecting the choices and rights of adults who choose to use them. Like other businesses, we seek to be included in the debates that shape our regulatory environment.
Guidelines recently adopted under the WHO FCTC suggest that governments should minimise contact with the tobacco industry. We believe that well run and responsible companies such as ours should not be marginalised or excluded. We believe we should be able, like other interested parties, to contribute to the development of public policies that affect our business and its stakeholders, and we are willing to do so constructively and transparently.
Cooperation between governments and the industry
Balanced and workable tobacco regulation needs cooperation between governments and the industry, and we have much experience to offer in helping to block tobacco sales to children, fight illicit trade, set standards for appropriate marketing and research potentially lower risk products – as well as supporting jobs and paying valuable taxes, especially in tough economic times.