Speaker Interview with Flore Okereke

Head of Regulatory Insights and Foresights at BAT

You're going to be presenting on “Tobacco transformation: Bold steps towards a better tomorrow” please could you please give us a quick overview of what you will be sharing with the audience?

The essence of my speech will be to share BAT’s transformation journey, the purpose and our desired destination… as well as the plans in place and the progress so far made to achieve our ambition.

I will explain our commitment to building A Better Tomorrow™ for all our stakeholders by reducing the health impact of our business. By working together to achieve this purpose, we will deliver sustainable value for all our stakeholders. For BAT, A Better Tomorrow is a world where smokers who would otherwise choose to continue to smoke have the option to switch to less risky*† alternatives to combustible tobacco.

A Better Tomorrow also represents a renewed commitment by BAT to improve society for all those that are sharing the road in our transformation journey – we are measuring ourselves against the expectations of our customers, our employees, our shareholders, our government partners, and the public.

How is the industry overcoming some of the challenges in the adoption of tobacco harm reduction?

The main obstacle to acceptance of THR is the reluctance of governments and regulatory authorities to adopt and implement policy measures that would enable reduced risk products to be easily accessible to adult smokers.


- We are continuing to engage and dialogue with decision makers and regulatory authorities to share our beliefs and proof that reduced risk products are less harmful and facilitate switching from combustible products.

- We are communicating honestly and transparently with adult consumers and encouraging a switch towards reduced risk products.

- We are advocating and encouraging countries with policy measures that have resulted in reduction in smoking prevalence due to the adoption of THR policies, to share their learning and live evidence.

It is important to remember that we are not alone in our transformation journey – our governments in low and middle income countries have an especially crucial role to play. Progressive, evidence-based regulatory measures will help encourage smokers to transition to reduced risk*† products. We believe governments in low and middle income countries can introduce three types of regulation to accelerate the transition of smokers from combustibles to reduced risk*† products. These include regulations and policies that enable and encourage companies to innovate and bring new products to market, permit clear communications with consumers about the relative risks of products and incentivize consumers to switch from combustibles to reduced risk* alternatives.

Regulations should allow flavours that adults enjoy, ensure high enough levels of nicotine to satisfy adult smokers, and where products are taxed, acknowledge the reduced risk*† profile of products like e-cigarettes, oral nicotine pouches and tobacco heating products compared to combustibles. To realize the benefit of tobacco harm reduction, the products must remain affordable.

Why do you feel it is important for people to attend ENDS Europe this year?

1. This platform provides opportunities to explore the vapour context from various perspectives, such as;

-Products as in today and future innovations

-Commercial aspects of the vapour business

-Policy and regulatory framework around it

-Science underpinning the Vapour space

-Challenges, obstacles - current and emerging

o It also provides opportunities for dialogue, debate, discourse and networking among diverse range of voices including public health experts, government representatives, the industry, investors, scientists, supply chain, as well as seasoned legal, regulatory, compliance, policy, and government professionals

2. It provides in-depth discussions and analyses on a wide variety of timely topics by bringing together experts from the federal government, industry, the private bar, non-profit, patient and consumer advocates, consulting organizations, and academia.

3. It also provides a platform to show-case the corporate ambitions and purpose, as well as branding opportunities through exhibitions

*Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.

†Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without FDA clearance.