One of the world's largest tobacco producers, the BAT group (British American Tobacco) intends to transfer 30 million Russian consumers of traditional cigarettes to their alternative, and by 2030 to increase the share of smokeless products consumers in the group as a whole to 50 million people, Oleg Barvin, director of the Department for Legal Affairs and External Corporate Relations of the region, told RIA Novosti.
"By the end of 2021, we have about 18.3 million consumers globally in the group in new nicotine categories, our global goal is that by 2030 the number of such consumers will reach 50 million," Barvin said on the sidelines of the first Eurasian Nicotine Forum in Kazakhstan.
According to him, there are now about 7 million consumers of smokeless products in Russia (vapes, electronic tobacco heating systems), of which 5 million are heating tobacco. "There are about 30 million smokers in Russia, our task is to transfer them to new categories," he explained.
According to the representative of BAT, in the nearest future, the sale of cigarettes will remain the main part of the company's business, but it intends to reduce its share by increasing new categories. "It seems to us that this is a good goal for society as a whole, since the use of alternative products creates fewer health risks, as many studies have shown," he added.
According to him, the main investments of the company are now concentrated in new categories. "New products are a priority for us now in terms of investments. Both from the point of view of production — for example, we have completely localized the production of tobacco sticks in St. Petersburg, invested about 4 billion rubles in the localization of this production, and in the implementation of scientific research at the global level. Most of our global investments in R&D (Research and development, improvement and innovation — are new categories. We expect that more and more of our business in the future will be in the segment of new categories," he added.
BAT was founded in 1902 in England. The company's brand portfolio includes such brands as Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Kent, Dunhill. In March, the company announced that it was ceasing its activities in Russia and began the process of transferring the Russian business to a new owner.