Research and development in the tobacco industry is an ongoing process
Tobacco consumption poses real and serious risks to health, so British American Tobacco's research and development activities are principally focused on better understanding the harm caused by tobacco use and working to develop potentially less harmful products.
The science involved in this work is complex, extremely challenging and spans many scientific disciplines. The Group has significantly expanded its research capabilities over the past few years to reflect the importance it places on work in this area. British American Tobacco is also committed to seeking guidance from independent scientific and regulatory bodies.
Some organisations concerned about smoking and health are sceptical about the Group's approach and its motives, but some critics of the tobacco industry are now supporting the objective of being able to offer adult consumers a range of tobacco products both acceptable to them and recognised by independent scientists and regulators as posing reduced risks to health.
British American Tobacco's research centres
The Group Research and Development Centre laboratories are based in the UK in Southampton and Cambridge.
British American Tobacco has had a research and development centre in Southampton for more than 50 years. In that time they have focused on understanding cigarette smoke chemistry, identifying its toxic constituents (known as toxicants), understanding smoking behaviour and trying to develop products with lower levels of toxicants in the smoke.
The research also includes work undertaken in collaboration with external researchers in countries around the world, for example, the USA, Italy, Brazil and Russia.
British American Tobacco also has a science website, www.bat-science.com , written by scientists for scientists with an interest in tobacco-related research or related disciplines.
As Ian Brown, the Head of Group Research and Development, explains: "We welcome comments from the scientific community on our science website and are pleased to discuss our science or possible collaboration with other scientists working in related areas."