BAT outlines plan to better regulate the vapour sector
A blueprint for how regulators and governments could better regulate vapour products and help smokers switch to less risky products has been outlined by Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, as the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) opened in South Korea.
Wheaton explained how BAT’s five-step plan for regulation could support achieving the right balance between harm reduction and mitigating unintended consequences, including underage product access.
The BAT leader (featured image) added that reckless players in the market must be penalised when they do not abide by the rules.
Wheaton said: “There are five areas where more could be considered regarding regulation. These are the areas that regulators should explore and establish an intelligent rule that is right for their market.
“First, on-device technology and functionality: vapour products should be accessible only to adults. Both underage prevention and restriction are crucial. When applied and enforced across entire markets, on-device technology could help in this regard.
“Second, more recognition is needed that flavours are an essential driver of adoption for smokers seeking alternatives. However, flavours in vapour products should not particularly appeal to anyone underage.
“Third is at the manufacturing and import level: ensuring that non-compliant products cannot reach the market in the first place.
“Fourth, where no restrictions exist already, regulators may want to look at who should be able to sell vapour products and where. Reasonable safeguards at the point of sale would help ensure these products are sold only to adult consumers. Solutions such as retail licensing and facial recognition technologies should be seriously considered.
“Lastly, enforcement and penalties: governments must wield power and ensure consumers purchase legitimate products. Such measures should be rigorously enforced and those who fail to comply should face meaningful sanctions.”
Wheaton added: “Let there be no doubt about what BAT stands for – a future where reduced-risk alternatives to smoking are embraced. In a future where innovation thrives, millions of consumers are free to choose from various options.
“We call upon governments, regulators, and industry peers to rally towards a sustainable and progressive environment in which these products are sold and marketed responsibly.”
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