Tobacco Farming: Debating the Future

Tobacco Farming: Debating the Future

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 9:30am

In recent years, there has been considerable debate about the social, environmental and economic impact of tobacco growing, especially in developing countries and some orgnaisations are calling for tobacco farmers to be encouraged to switch to alternative crops.

As we actively engage with regulators and governments on this issue, we have developed five core principles which we believe can help guide their future policy decision making.

Evidence-based: Driven by market dynamics and based on sound research and scientific evidence

Holistic: Adopts a broad approach, understands tobacco is part of a mixed agricultural system and acknowledges initiatives already underway to avoid duplication

Respectful of livelihoods: Prioritises farmers and their communities, ensures farmers continue to be free to choose which crops they grow

Inclusive: Allows the whole tobacco growing supply chain to participate in decision making, is consultative and does not restrict the tobacco industry’s existing support for farming communities

Locally relevant: Considers local political, economic and environmental factors, gives precedence to local implications or priorities and finds practical, workable solutions

Read about the issue and our approach to agriculture and working with farmers in our new Sustainability Focus Report, Supporting farmers' livelihoods, which can be downloaded at


Verity Lawson
British American Tobacco