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BAT Ireland On Transitioning Revenue From Cigarettes To New Category Products

By Maev Martin
BAT Ireland On Transitioning Revenue From Cigarettes To New Category Products

David Melinn talks to Maev Martin about BAT Ireland’s ‘A Better Tomorrow’ strategy which aims to transition revenues from cigarettes to new category products. 

According to David, BAT is committed to building A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of its business through offering adult consumers a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products* compared to smoking.

“New category products, including Vuse vapes and VELO nicotine pouches, play a critical role in BAT’s business,” he says.

“As of December 2022, we had 22.5 million consumers of these new category products globally, accounting for circa 15% of Group revenue.

“It is important to note that these products are not risk free and contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance strictly for the use of over 18s only.


"There is, however, a strong and growing body of evidence to support the role of reduced risk products in helping adult smokers to move away from smoking cigarettes.

"For example, Public Health England has said that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.

"In the UK, the NHS is now offering free vape starter kits to high-risk groups like pregnant smokers.

“In Sweden, where nicotine pouches are extremely popular, BAT’S VELO product is the market leader.

"The Swedish Government has prioritised reduced risk products such as vapes and nicotine pouches, ensuring they are accessible and affordable for adult smokers.


"As a result, Sweden is about to become a ‘smoke free’ country (smoking incidence of 5% or less).

"Ireland, in comparison, has a relatively high smoking rate of 18%.

"Across all our markets, BAT calls for a collective, pragmatic, and whole of society approach to tobacco harm reduction, where policy makers adopt proportionate, risk-based regulations backed by science.

"Working with regulators to achieve progress for all is a key part of the A Better Tomorrow transformation.”

New Product Development


BAT Ireland have just launched VELO nicotine pouches in Ireland to offer a convenient product to adult nicotine users.

VELO is a nicotine pouch that consumers place in their mouth between the lip and gum, where it releases nicotine for up to 30 minutes.

The product can then be discarded.

VELO is available in a small number of menthol flavours, as well as a ‘ruby berry’ flavour.

“VELO nicotine pouches contain high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade nicotine polymer, plant-based ingredients, flavourings, and sweeteners,” says David.


“Nicotine pouches are considered a reduced risk product because they contain 99% less toxicants than a cigarette, and do not contain tobacco or tar.

"VELO is the number-one nicotine pouch in 15 European markets, and BAT is pleased to be able to bring this high performing product to an Irish audience.

"Retailers interested in stocking VELO should get in touch with their PJ Carroll representative.”

Public Health Bill

According to David, BAT Ireland welcomes many aspects of the Public Health (Nicotine and Inhaling Products) Bill, particularly the measures which will ban the sale of vapes to under 18s.

“BAT’s products are created for adults, and only for adults, and we implement a comprehensive and robust set of measures to prevent sales to under 18s, including our Verify programme through which we train retailers throughout the country and prevent youth access to any of our products,” he says.

“We also welcome the fact that the Bill will not restrict the availability of flavoured vapes.

"Our customers value the fact that our Vuse vaping products are available in tobacco and menthol flavours, as well as in a small range of fruit flavours.

"The evidence supports the fact that flavours can help adults who are trying to move away from smoking cigarettes to use a reduced risk product.

"For example, the HSE’s clinical lead for addiction for the Midlands region, Dr Garret McGovern, often speaks about the role that flavours play in helping consumers disassociate the taste of tobacco with nicotine.”

Banning Disposable Vapes

David says that BAT Ireland is committed to working with regulators to ensure the proper and safe disposal of its products.

“Governments and consumers alike are right to be concerned with sustainability and recycling, and this is why VELO nicotine pouches have been formulated with minimal packaging waste and in a fully recyclable tin,” he says.

“Most of our vaping products are reusable, and we also have a disposable vaping product, Vuse GO, which is available on the Irish market.

"BAT is fully compliant with regulations under Ireland’s Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment producer scheme.

“If you purchase a Vuse e-cigarette from us, you are entitled to return any used e-cigarette to us, and we will dispose of the device safely and ensure it does not end up in a landfill.

"Disposables are affordable and accessible to adult consumers and have their place in the market.

“We do not support a ban on this product category, but we note that there is an ongoing public consultation where consumers and businesses are invited to support one of three options for addressing environmental concerns with disposables: a ban, a deposit and return scheme, or an improvement to existing measures such as the WEEE producer responsibility scheme and consumer awareness.

"BAT is supportive of the third option, and we stand ready to work with policymakers to strengthen existing measures to mitigate waste concerns.”

Read More: Tobacco Group BAT Sticks To Full-Year Forecast On Steady Demand

* This product is not risk-free and contains nicotine, an addictive substance. Comparison based on an assessment of smoke from a scientific standard reference cigarette (approximately 9mg tar) and components released during use of a Velo pouch, in terms of the average of the nine harmful components the World Health Organisation recommends reducing in cigarette smoke).

© 2023 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Maev Martin. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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