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Tobacco ingredients

The facts behind the myths

For centuries, ingredients have been added to tobacco to control moisture, maintain quality and balance the natural tobacco taste.

We want consumers and governments to know the facts about ingredients used by our companies in the manufacture of cigarettes, cigars, Fine Cut tobacco and smokeless snus.

The primary component of all our companies’ traditional products is of course tobacco and the character, flavour and aroma is determined mostly by the tobaccos used. In fact, cigarette brands can contain many kinds of tobacco – blending different types of leaf from many growing regions and harvests.

Certain food-type ingredients, or flavourings, are added to balance the natural tobacco taste, often replacing sugars lost in the curing process. Several of the flavourings used are recognised food stuffs, such as sugar, while others are derived from natural herbs and spices or their essential oils.

We voluntarily publish the ingredients we use and you can find out what’s in your brand by visiting www.bat-ingredients.com  to see ingredients by country and brand.

Exploding the myths

Some regulatory bodies have stated that flavours added to cigarettes can mask the taste of tobacco and reduce the harshness of tobacco smoke – making them more attractive to children.

Some governments have implemented regulations to restrict or ban the use of some flavours, or the sale of certain overtly flavoured products. Canada prohibited the use of all flavours except menthol in 2009.

Blended versus unblended cigarettes

Smokers in countries such as Canada, Australia and the UK have historically preferred the taste of Virginia-style cigarettes, which contain few or no ingredients.

In the US and Germany, for example, smokers prefer cigarettes that blend different types of tobaccos such as burley and oriental, which generally need the addition of ingredients. Such brands are known as American-style blends.

The evidence

We support restrictions and prohibitions on certain ingredients if the science proves they either increase the toxicological effect of tobacco products, enhance the pharmacological effects of nicotine or encourage underage smoking.