Mt Kenya Tobacco Stores Ltd
Our portfolio reflects our commitment to meeting the preferences of today's adult smokers, while transforming tobacco by adapting to consumer and market changes with innovative tobacco and nicotine products.
For decades, we have built our business on meeting the preferences of adult smokers with leading cigarette brands, superior products and market-leading innovations. That remains the case today because cigarettes are still at the core of our business. They continue to be used by millions of adult smokers, despite the well-known health risks of smoking.
Our product portfolio comprises a range of high quality and innovative products, including cigarettes (combustible products), cut – rug tobacco (unprocessed tobacco) and our potentially reduced risk category of tobacco-free oral nicotine products.
Our cigarette brand portfolio includes Sportsman, which has been in the market for over 85 years and is sold in various Eastern Africa markets including Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia. This is alongside a strong repertoire of global brands including Pall Mall, Dunhill and Rothmans, which are sold in over 200 markets worldwide including East Africa. However, our world is changing.
An unprecedented confluence of technology, societal change and public health awareness has created a unique opportunity to make a big leap forward in our long-held ambition to provide our consumers with new categories of potentially reduced-risk products. Indeed, this is reflected in our corporate purpose today – to build A Better Tomorrow by reducing the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of viable and less risky products for our consumers.
We believe that by providing a range of high quality, innovative products, many millions of smokers will increasingly make the choice to switch. We refer to these products as our “New Categories”.
It is widely accepted that most of the harm associated with tobacco is caused by inhaling the smoke produced by the burning of tobacco. That is why we are dedicated to the development and sale of alternative tobacco and nicotine products that don’t burn tobacco.
Our portfolio of cigarette brands is complemented by our new product category of potentially reduced-risk products. Currently, our New Categories portfolio comprises of LYFT, BAT’s tobacco-free modern oral nicotine pouch.
This strategic portfolio reflects our priority to provide consumers with potentially reduced-risk products, while recognizing the continued importance of our conventional cigarette brands to adult smokers and to our business.
We remain committed to addressing the preferences of our consumers with products they can trust and afford, marketed in a responsible way that adheres to local laws and BAT’s International marketing Principals (IMP).
We never set out to encourage people to take up smoking cigarettes, or to smoke more. Our cigarette business is based on understanding and meeting the preferences of today’s adult smokers with products that are manufactured to high standards and marketed responsibly.
How cigarettes work
A standard cigarette have four basic components:
- The tobacco rod
- The cigarette paper
- The tipping paper
- The filter
When the tobacco rod is lit, the user inhales smoke through the filter.
The preferences of adult smokers guide the types and blends of tobaccos that we use in the tobacco rod. We do not add nicotine to our tobacco; it occurs naturally in all varieties of tobacco plants.
Food-type ingredients and flavorings are added to some types of cigarettes – typically American style blends – to balance the natural tobacco taste, replace sugars lost in curing and give individual brands their characteristic tobacco flavor and aroma. Other ingredients may control moisture, protect against microbial degradation and act as binders or fillers.
Filters are traditionally made from cellulose acetate fibres, known as tow. Recent innovations include flavor capsules in filters and tube filters. The filter, paper and type of filter are all chosen to affect the sensory strength and smoke yield of the cigarette.
Why do cigarettes pose serious health risks?
The reason why cigarettes can be harmful to health is because burning tobacco generates toxicants in the smoke that is produced. Inhaling these smoke toxicants is the cause of most smoking-related diseases.
We’re evolving our portfolio with a wider choice of products, providing a modern alternative to conventional cigarettes.
The idea behind tobacco harm reduction is to encourage smokers who wouldn’t otherwise quit, to migrate to products that deliver nicotine without those toxic chemicals.
No tobacco or nicotine product is 100% safe and anyone wanting to be totally risk-free shouldn’t use them. However, the principle of harm reduction is that, compared with continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes, it is better to switch to products that are considered to have potentially reduced risk.
BAT Group’s New Categories portfolio comprises:
- Vapour products such as e-cigarettes,
- Tobacco heating products (THPs),
- Modern oral products, including tobacco-free nicotine pouches, and
- Traditional oral products, including moist snuff and snus.
Modern Oral Nicotine products without tobacco
In recent years, a new category of modern oral products has emerged. These come in the form of nicotine pouches that are placed under the lip so that nicotine can be absorbed by the body. BAT’s modern oral products are white in color and contain high purity nicotine, water and other high-quality food-grade ingredients, including eucalyptus and pine tree fibers, flavoring and sweeteners.
In a fast-moving world that continuously calls for improvement and variety, the demand for innovative oral products continues to grow. In order to meet the evolving needs of consumers, BAT Kenya introduced in the market LYFT, BAT’s Modern Oral Nicotine pouch without tobacco.
With a high incidence of oral stimulant-use amongst Kenyan smokers, we believe that LYFT offers a viable alternative to smoking. We are confident that the sale of LYFT can be a commercial success and has the potential to lead to a reduction in the projected health burden associated with smoking related diseases in Kenya.
Read more about the health risks of smoking, as well as our approach to harm reduction and how BAT is delivering A Better Tomorrow on our Group website.