British American Tobacco Company is set to introduce smoke-free, spit free and tobacco free cigarettes in the Kenyan market with an investment of a Sh2.5 billion production plant.
BAT’s Managing Director Beverly Spencer says the introduction of the nicotine snus pouches is aimed at reducing the risks associating with passive smoking that led to a ban on smoking in public.
Spencer said the pouches do not produce harmful smoke because they heat, not burn, allowing tobacco sticks to generate a vapor that contains nicotine.
“It is the smoking and the burning of tobacco that creates the risks associated with cigarettes, which is why we want to introduce the pouches,” Spencer said.
United States of America, Sweden, Italy and Tanzania are some of the countries where the tobacco sack is already in use.
Spencer was speaking during the company’s Half Year 2019 results where the company posted Sh2.5 billion in profit after tax compared to the Sh2 billion made a year earlier.
The company’s gross revenues increased by 10.1 percent to Sh19.2 billion, driven by excise-led pricing impacts in Kenya and Somalia.
“We had a challenging operating environment in Kenya. For instance, the sale of illicit cigarettes in Kenya is a threat to the business,” she added.
The company paid Sh9.3 billion in taxes, up by Sh503 million, due to higher sales returns in Kenya.