As a legal industry that is seen as controversial, sensible regulation adapted to reality is necessary in order to be able to communicate and market our products responsibly.
Tobacco products are legal in all countries. The health risks associated with their consumption have resulted in the implementation of a series of controls on tobacco product manufacture, marketing, and sale.
British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America maintains that risky products such as tobacco, require sensible regulation to ensure the responsible marketing and communication of our products, while guaranteeing that adults are able to continue making informed decisions about cigarette consumption.
The manufacture, sale, promotion, and use of tobacco are subject to a variety of restrictions in almost all countries. The health risks posed by cigarette consumption justify the concerns of governments and health organisations. At British American Tobacco Caribbean & Central America (BATCCA), we also agree that tobacco must be regulated. However, we believe that the question the Region’s authorities should ask themselves is not whether these regulations should exist, but rather what they should look like.
The choice of the different restrictive approaches entails a careful analysis of the costs and benefits at stake. Most effective regulations are those perceived as fair and balanced by all parties. Transparency and stakeholder consultation are imperative to create a consensus that will sustain the government’s decisions.
Social, economic, and political differences cause the optimum level of formal and informal restrictions to vary from country to country. BATCCA, in line with British American Tobacco, believes that it is up to national governments to decide whether to adopt regulatory controls or depend on voluntary initiatives.
In any case, we are committed to working together to ensure that the regulatory approach or voluntary initiatives adopted (or a combination of both) are based on a complete understanding of all the factors at stake and are fair for all stakeholders.