BAT Brasil believes that the regulatory environment must be guided by strong evidence and consistent research
BAT Brasil agrees with the existence of a sensible regulation, dealing transparently risks associated with the consumption of tobacco products. Thus, we must strictly comply with all regulatory determinations of the cigarette market in terms of products, marketing, communication and advertising.
However, the company also believes that its customers, adults who are aware of these risks, freely have the right to choose to use or not of a legally produced and marketed.
In this sense, BAT Brasil seeks dialogue with the government to transparently present their ideas about the regulatory environment, supporting certain proposals, but also presenting questions when needed. The company believes that any regulations should be based on strong evidence and consistent research that shall lead to sensible and rational decisions.
Regulatory restrictions for cigarettes are increasing in Brazil. Some examples of these limitations can be seen in the ban on commercial advertising of the products in any way, and also the insertion of warnings on packages and ban of smoking in closed public grounds.
The National Congress and the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) also discuss the possibility of adopting generic packaging. If approved, the measure shall remove differences between brands - and hence eliminate the characteristics of quality and innovation present in each product.
Other law projects are pending in federal, state and municipal levels. In general, the proposals go towards a more regulated and restrictive environment, which ultimately, indirectly benefits the illegal market, which commonly do not observe any legal determination, whether tax or regulatory nature.
The posture adopted by BAT Brasil in Brazil arises from the position adopted by BAT around the world. In France, for example, BAT recently worked in conjunction with regulatory agencies to voluntarily set standards for the control of electronic cigarettes.
The group also monitors regulatory issues related to the global tobacco market. In Australia, for example, BAT has opposed to the adoption of generic packaging in 2012. The regulatory measure, confirming the view expressed by BAT at the time in which it was discussed, did not result in the expected effect by the local government, as there was no drop in cigarette consumption.
Internationally, an important milestone came in May 1999 when, during the 52nd World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization (WHO) signed with 192 countries drafting the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The agreement has been guiding the formulation of public health policy in the signatory countries.
In 2003, Brazil signed the treaty, which two years later was approved by Congress and ratified by the government. BAT Brasil supports various parts of the Framework Convention, such as the fight against illegal market, but also manifests itself in a manner contrary to other aspects, linked mainly to restriction attempts of tobacco cultivation in the country.