The UK’s largest tobacco firm, British American Tobacco (BAT), is ramping up plans to move away from selling cigarettes, with cannabis vaping forming a key part of its future.

BAT took a near 20% stake in Canadian medicinal cannabis firm Organigram in March and has launched a trial focused on CBD vaping products in Manchester, England. 

More than a third of BAT’s UK revenue comes from vaping

As the company’s revenue jumped by 8.1% to £12.17 billion in its half-year results, chief marketing officer Kingsley Wheaton told Radio 4’s Today Programme the future for the company lies beyond traditional cigarettes. 

He said: “As we think about our portfolio for the future, certainly beyond-nicotine products are interesting for us as another wave of future growth.

“I think [CBD vaping] is part of the future, but the present challenge is reduced harm in tobacco and nicotine alternatives, encouraging people to switch.” 

With more than a third of the company’s UK revenue coming from vaping brands such as Vuse, Velo and Glo, the switch is already underway.

Wheaton added: “Our rapid growth in new categories is driving significant scale benefits and 2021 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in our journey towards ‘A Better Tomorrow’.”

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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