Given there are real risks of serious diseases associated with tobacco use, we believe tobacco should be regulated in appropriate ways.
Balanced tobacco regulation
We acknowledge that tobacco consumption poses risks to health. Tobacco products are legal and about a billion adults worldwide choose to consume tobacco so a realistic world view suggests that a great many will continue to do so in the future.
Our marketing is governed by British American Tobacco’s voluntary International Marketing Principles and our local Malaysian laws. The manufacture, sale, promotion and use of tobacco is subject to a variety of restrictions in Malaysia as detailed in the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004. Find out more about our Marketing Principles.
British American Tobacco Malaysia supports and hopes to help deliver, balanced tobacco regulation that can help to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health, while ensuring that adult consumers can continue making informed choices about consumption of a legal product.
In our view, balanced regulatory approaches consider the guiding principles of better regulatory practice – they look to see if regulation is the most effective approach, they are transparent in seeking all views on ways forward, they analyse the costs and benefits of the regulation on the basis of sound science, they are proportionate and take into account the wishes of adults who want to smoke, and they are consistent with other regulatory approaches.
We believe that as a responsible tobacco business, we can contribute, through information, ideas and practical steps, to helping regulators address the key issues surrounding our product – under-age access, illicit trade, product information, product safety, involuntary exposure to smoke and the development of potentially less harmful products – while maintaining a competitive market that accommodates the significant percentage of adults who choose to be tobacco consumers.
It is in the interest of all within the society to have effective and orderly regulation of the tobacco market. The absence of this leads to illicit trade, which harms our business and increases the likelihood of more under-age access, organised crime through smuggling activities, cheap products and poor manufacturing and product standards.
We believe that regulation is likely to be balanced when there has been due process, when it is based on objective evidence and when it is proportionate to the issue it seeks to address. Truly effective tobacco regulation needs co-operation between governments and the industry. We believe we have much experience and expertise to contribute.
As manufacturers of the products, we are uniquely involved with and knowledgeable about their design, manufacture, distribution and sale. We have long-standing relationships with the retail, customs and hospitality sectors and act as a reliable tax collector for governments.
As we are part of the legitimate tobacco industry, we believe that we should be able to advocate our views to regulators when they are formulating public policies that affect our business and its stakeholders, and that we should be heard fairly.
We would like regulators to approach tobacco as they approach other sectors, and in line with the advice of the many organisations that have helped to build a consensus about how regulation should be developed.
We hope our commitment to embedding the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility throughout our business would encourage regulators to believe that we take our impacts seriously and to engage in good faith with us. We are committed to working with the government and non-governmental organisations, and welcome opportunities to participate in good faith to achieve real progress.