Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    20,461.93
    +60.44 (+0.30%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,448.98
    +53.34 (+1.21%)
     
  • DOW

    34,764.82
    +506.50 (+1.48%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.7902
    +0.0070 (+0.89%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    73.25
    +1.02 (+1.41%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    56,601.93
    +1,349.91 (+2.44%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,119.18
    +10.26 (+0.92%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,741.80
    -37.00 (-2.08%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,259.04
    +40.48 (+1.82%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4100
    +0.0740 (+5.54%)
     
  • NASDAQ futures

    15,293.25
    +129.75 (+0.86%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    18.63
    -2.24 (-10.73%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,078.35
    -5.02 (-0.07%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,639.40
    -200.31 (-0.67%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6728
    +0.0034 (+0.51%)
     

Don't ban cigarettes, says British American Tobacco

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
cigarettes
cigarettes

British American Tobacco has refused to back calls for cigarettes to be banned, saying that outlawing smoking would drive the industry underground.

BAT, the maker of Dunhill and Rothmans cigarettes, will instead advertise vaping and other “non-combustible” products on a billion packets to encourage smokers to quit.

The FTSE 100 firm also said it was looking at expanding into cannabis as it diversifies its business away from traditional tobacco products.

Last weekend, the chairman and chief executive of Marlboro owner Philip Morris International called on the Government to ban cigarettes as part of a “carrot and stick” approach to force smokers to quit.

André Calantzopoulos, the chairman, said: “Deadlines are important at a certain stage so people [companies] know how much horizon they have.

“It is not different from what [is being done] with alternative energies or with electric cars ... [but you need to] stop the confusion that currently exists in the minds of smokers.”

Jack Bowles, BAT chief executive, said an outright ban would not work, citing the example of South Africa, which banned smoking last year during the pandemic.

“Consumption did not reduce one bit - and everything becomes illicit,” he said.

Mr Bowles also ruled out following the lead of Philip Morris, which is diversifying into pharmaceutical companies. It has agreed a £1bn deal to acquire Vectura, a FTSE 250 company that makes drugs to combat smoking-related diseases.

“Every company is different - and my view is very simple: we are a marketing consumer brand-led company. So our role is to take the consumers that we have in combustibles and ... transfer them to new categories.”

One such new category is cannabis, the BAT boss added. “Cannabis is one out of many different products that we are looking at.”

The comments came as BAT posted pre-tax profit of £4.4bn on £12.2bn of revenue for the six months to June, both broadly in line with the same period last year.

The number of cigarettes sold increased by 1.8pc to 316bn - equivalent to almost 20,000 sticks a second.

Sales of “new products” such as vaping, heated tobacco and oral tobacco, rose 40pc to £883m.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting