Tobacco consumption poses real and serious risks to health, so British American Tobacco's research and development activities are principally focused on better understanding the harm caused by tobacco use and working to develop potentially less harmful products.
The science involved in this work is complex, extremely challenging and spans many scientific disciplines. The British American Tobacco Group Research and Development Centre laboratories are based in the United Kingdom (UK) in Southampton and Cambridge. The research and development centre in Southampton has been in existance for more than 50 years. During this time the company has focused on understanding cigarette smoke chemistry, identifying its toxic constituents (known as toxicants), understanding smoking behaviour and trying to develop products with lower levels of toxicants in the smoke.
Over the past few years, British American Tobacco has significantly expanded its research capabilities to reflect the importance that the company places on work in this area. It is also committed to seeking guidance from independent scientific and regulatory bodies. The research conducted by the Group also includes work undertaken in collaboration with external researchers in countries around the world, for example, the USA, Italy, Brazil and Russia.
Some organisations concerned about smoking and health are sceptical about British American Tobacco's approach and motives but some critics of the tobacco industry are now supporting the objective of being able to offer adult consumers a range of tobacco products both acceptable to them and recognised by independent scientists and regulators as posing reduced risks to health.
For further information, visit www.bat-science.com , which is written by scientists for scientists with an interest in tobacco-related research or related disciplines.