BATN advocates for progressive regulation to achieve smoke-free economy


By Motolani Oseni

The British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has advocated the implementation of sustainable regulation for smokeless nicotine and tobacco products, such as vapour products, to achieve a smoke-free economy in the country.

BATN) also called for a regulatory framework to encourage adult smokers to switch to smokeless alternatives while the recommendations were designed to achieve a smoke-free world.

BAT, in a statement to newsmen, explained that to realise the harm reduction potential offered by smokeless products, appropriate regulation is required to encourage adult smokers to switch, protect consumers with stringent safety standards and prevent underage access.

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To this end, BAT Nigeria proposed four principles for effective and impactful regulation relating to smokeless tobacco and nicotine products such as: Access to consumer-relevant products; Adult-only Consumers which prohibits the use and sale of smokeless tobacco and nicotine products and underage should be prohibited by law.

AProduct Quality and Safety, it pointed out, should be properly enforced, adding that, quality and safety standards should be at the heart of regulation to protect consumers.

On Robust Enforcement, BAT stressed the need for Regulation to provide enforcement authorities with the necessary powers to apply penalties and sanctions to those who fail to comply with regulations, particularly, those who supply non-compliant products and provide products to those who are underage.

Speaking on the development, the managing director, of BAT West & Central Africa, Yarub Al-Bahrani said, providing adult smokers with reduced risk alternatives to make informed choices is crucial for both countries looking to reduce their smoking rates and for global public health more broadly.

Whether or not governments can take advantage of these products and maximise their harm reduction potential depends as much on the implementation of progressive, risk-proportionate regulation as it does on changes in consumer behaviour, he said.

He said countries that have implemented regulations that recognise the harm reduction potential of smokeless products and support their use for adult smokers have experienced a decline in smoking.

He noted that the UK, US and Japan are all reporting their lowest smoking rates on record, while Sweden is on track to declaring itself smoke-free this year, 16 years ahead of the 2040 EU target.

This, he said, is largely a result of widespread awareness, regulated availability, and usage of smokeless alternatives, such as vapour products, heated products and nicotine pouches.

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