World Vape Day: BAT Calls For Progressive Regulation To Achieve Smoke-Free Nigeria

Posted on May 30, 2024

On World Vape Day, BAT Nigeria is calling for the implementation of sustainable regulation for smokeless nicotine and tobacco products, such as vapour products, to achieve a smoke-free Nigeria.

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.

BAT Nigeria has proposed four principles for effective and impactful regulation relating to smokeless tobacco and nicotine products:

Access to consumer-relevant products: regulations should also allow a wide range of smokeless alternatives to ensure that consumers can access these alternatives and make informed choices about switching based on the available scientific evidence.

Adult-only Consumer: the use and sale of smokeless tobacco and nicotine products by and to the underage should be prohibited by law.

Product Quality and Safety: robust and properly enforced quality and safety standards should be at the heart of regulation, to protect consumers.

Robust Enforcement: Regulation should 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 product to those who are underage.

Yarub Al-Bahrani, Managing Director, BAT West & Central Africa, said: “Providing adult smokers with reduced risk alternatives to make informed choices is crucial both for countries looking to reduce their smoking rates and for global public health more broadly. Whether or not governments are able to 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.”

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.

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

“There are widespread misconceptions about the risk of smokeless products compared to smoking. These discourage many smokers who don’t quit smoking from switching to these smokeless products. The science is clear: well-stewarded smokeless tobacco and nicotine products have a considerably lower-risk profile than smoking. It’s the toxicants released by the burning of tobacco that cause the harm associated with smoking,” added Yarub.

BAT’s purpose is to create A Better Tomorrow™ by Building a Smokeless World.

This commitment is demonstrated in various ways, including the Company’s investment of more than N548,000,000,000 a year in the development of smokeless tobacco and nicotine products which are sold across 75+ markets globally.

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