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.
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’.”