Tobacco and health

Smoking is a cause of serious diseases in smokers, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. We agree that governments and public health authorities around the world should provide clear and consistent messages about the health risks of smoking. Adults should be guided by those messages when deciding whether or not to smoke. Children should never smoke.

Cigarette smoking is addictive and it can be very difficult to stop.

While some people may find it difficult to stop smoking, we believe it is important for them to understand that they are able to stop if they choose to do so. Millions of people have stopped smoking, the majority without assistance.

To reduce the health risks of smoking, the best step to take is to stop smoking. For smokers who have decided to stop, information published by public health authorities is always available.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), also known as second-hand smoke, is the aged and diluted combination of the smoke rising from the lit end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker into the ambient air.

Public health authorities worldwide have concluded that ETS is a cause of smoking-related diseases in non-smokers. The public should be guided by the conclusions of those public health authorities regarding ETS.

Adults who smoke should show consideration and courtesy to other people and in particular should exercise care to avoid smoking around children. 

Snus is a type of oral snuff. We are aware of several studies that have indicated a statistical association between oral snuff and some oral and other cancers. Just as we do not believe that any cigarette is safe, it is also our view that snus should not be regarded as safe or safer than other tobacco products.

Snus is a tobacco product. As such, snus may be described by some as addictive, but that does not mean that people are unable to stop using snus if they choose to do so.

We recognise that it is the role of governments to provide the general public with clear and consistent messages about the health risks that are associated with the use of tobacco products. We do not challenge those messages. It is our policy that a clearly visible health warning will appear on packs of all tobacco products manufactured and/or marketed by Imperial Tobacco, as well as on any outer packaging intended to be presented to the consumer.

Snus is sold in a number of countries worldwide and we believe that there is no justification for a ban on the use of snus within the European Union.

The European Union (EU) introduced a comprehensive ban on snus in 1992. Sweden negotiated a permanent exemption from the ban when it joined the EU in 1995. Outside the EU, snus is sold in Norway, USA, Canada and South Africa.

In environments where smoking is restricted and snus is permitted, consumers may regard snus as a complementary or alternative form of tobacco.