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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The tobacco industry as a whole is at a crossroads and is recognizing that tobacco companies are beginning to rethink their strategies. Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is no exception.
Launching its transforming tobacco initiative, each operating company at RAI is positioning itself to help resolve many of the controversial issues related to the use of tobacco, according to a letter from President and CEO Daniel M. Delen, which is posted on the company's revamped website.
"Transforming tobacco is a bold vision that we believe in, and our journey is well under way. We are moving our businesses forward with a full appreciation of stakeholder expectations," he wrote. "Our goal is to ultimately achieve market leadership by effectively executing this transformation strategy. We will lead change in our industry by driving innovation throughout RAI's businesses, redefining enjoyment for adult tobacco consumers, reducing the harm caused by smoking, and accelerating the decline in youth tobacco use."
In its commitment to transforming tobacco, RAI is focusing on three key areas: commercial integrity, tobacco harm reduction and youth tobacco prevention. The company adds its believes "these pillars" will drive future success.
RAI uses commercial integrity to describe a range of issues that impact the company's businesses and employees, such as its efforts to reduce illicit trade in tobacco products, and philanthropic and environmental initiatives.
With evidence pointing to lower health risks associated with smokeless tobacco than the risks associated with cigarette smoking, tobacco harm reduction is RAI's effort to provide adult tobacco users with accurate information about, and instituting regulatory policies that reflect, the comparative risks between cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The goal is to encourage smokers who do not quit tobacco entirely to switch to smokeless tobacco products, according to the company's website.
The third pillar, youth tobacco prevention, is a continuation of RAI's bid to keep tobacco out of the hands of underage users. For example, more than 20,000 U.S middle schools get free supplemental teaching materials as part of R.J. Reynolds' evidence-based youth tobacco prevention program, "Right Decisions Right Now: Be Tobacco Free."
"We are committed to meeting society's expectations for how a tobacco company should operate, while growing our businesses -- now and over the long term," Delen said.