Our experience and expertise means that we have much to offer governments and regulators when it comes to helping develop policies around tobacco.
We have always been clear that we support regulation that is based on robust evidence and thorough research, and respects freedom of choice of individuals and their legal rights and livelihoods and delivers on the intended policy aims, while recognising unintended consequences.
We want to contribute to the debate in a positive manner, offering information, ideas and practical steps to help regulators address the key issues facing the industry.
Some regulations can also have unwelcome and unexpected consequences. For example, sudden and significant hikes in excise rates can result in price disparities between neighbouring countries, increasing smuggling across borders.
When it comes to extreme proposals like plain packaging, we have always believed that this policy is disproportionate, will not deliver its intended results and significantly erodes our intellectual property rights by stripping us of our right to use our trade marks.
We have long supported the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Principles for Transparency and Integrity. Our Principles for Engagement provide clear guidance for our external engagement with regulators, politicians and other third parties.
We are transparent about what we think, supporting some new proposals but disagreeing with others. When we do not agree with proposed regulations, we try to be constructive and put forward alternatives that can still achieve governments' aims.