Tobacco ingredients

The ingredients are added-in to manufacturing procedure in order to create a unique particularity for each tobacco product.

What are the ingredients in a tobacco product?

Several ingredients have been added to tobacco since the 16th century. For example, Spanish sailors believed that having added liquorice to tobacco would help a better preservative.

Ingredients added to tobacco products are not the same as smoke constituents. The ingredients are added-in to manufacturing procedure in order to create a unique particularity for each tobacco product. Smoke constituents are formed during the burning process of a tobacco product.

Why are those ingredients being used?

Food-type ingredients and flavourings are used in order to balance the natural taste of tobacco products. This replaces an amount of sugar lost in the curing process and gives individual brands their characteristic. Other ingredients have technological functions such as moisture control, protecting against microbial degradation, affecting burn rates and acting as binders or fillers.

How are they regulated?

Governments of countries such as the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, and Canada have legislation or voluntary agreements that govern the ingredients that may or may not be used in tobacco products.

We fully comply with such legislation or voluntary agreements in such countries, and for countries without legislation, a uniform standard is applied across the Group based on the laws and scientific standards typically applied to foodstuffs.

Whenever the Government worries about a certain component, we will closely coordinate with the authorities, for instance the Department of Health (UK) for clarification.

British American Tobacco has Group-wide procedures to ensure that, to the best of its ability, ingredients used in companies' products do not present any additional health risks.

Some important considerations about ingredients:

  • In British American Tobacco’s view, based on the currently available scientific evidence, the ingredients that its Group companies’ use, at the levels used, do not add to the harm of tobacco consumption, do not induce people to start smoking and do not affect people’s ability to quit.
  • There is no evidence that smoking cigarettes without added ingredients reduce the health risks. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette.
  • Ingredients are not added to make cigarettes appealing to children. The ingredients in some types of cigarettes do include sugars, cocoa, and fruit extracts, they blend with tobacco, making the characteristic tobacco taste distinct from the effect these ingredients have on foods.
  • Tobacco products are not “spiked” with additional nicotine.
  • Ingredients are not added to increase the amount of nicotine in cigarette smoke or to increase the amount or speed of nicotine absorbed into the smoker’s body.
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