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Harm reduction in South Africa

We believe that e-cigarettes are a crucial part of a tobacco harm reduction approach and that consumers should have a choice about the type of nicotine product they consume.

While the cigarette in South Africa is still the most conventional form of nicotine, the e-cigarette market, although still in its infancy, continues to grow.

Globally, British American Tobacco has launched e-cigarettes in UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, and is committed to the research and development of new generation products. The company has invested over £500,000 during the past five years into this market, which shows very clearly the company’s commitment to the category.

There is a growing body of evidence that new generation products pose significantly fewer risks than cigarettes – including from Public Health England, which recently stated that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than conventional cigarettes.

There’s no evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking and the vast majority of ‘vapers’ are current or former smokers. Studies done to date conclude that there is no evidence thus far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking.

We also believe that nicotine products should be regulated according to the level of risk they pose to consumers and that importantly, that regulation should be evidence-based and follow sound scientific findings. We believe technical standards such as those developed by the British Standards Institute are a good model for regulation of this product category.

Ultimately, we believe that it’s up to consumers to use these devices as they see fit.