British American Tobacco (BAT)

From TobaccoUnmasked


Global distribution of BAT as presented in the BAT website in July 2017[1]

Some sections of this page was adopted from the British American Tobacco (BAT) page of British American Tobacco (BAT) was established in 1902 by merging the UK’s Imperial Tobacco and the US’s American Tobacco companies.[2] Headquartered in London, its business includes Australasia, Africa, Europe and America.[3][2] In its Business company profile 2017, BAT claimed it sold 300 tobacco brands in 180 markets and had a 15% share in the global market.[4]


In 2017, BAT held international partnerships with three other tobacco companies;[5]

BAT also owned the following non-cigarette producing tobacco companies:

  • CN Creative Ltd.- produces E-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy products
  • Fiedler & Lundgren – produces snus
  • Nicoventures Ltd – produces ‘regulatory-approved’ nicotine products

For details on other individuals and institutions affiliated to BAT, please visit the British American Tobacco (BAT) page of

Activities Related to Tobacco and Tobacco Control

Globally BAT is known for;[6]

  • using controversial strategies to market their products to women and girls
  • targeting youth in marketing their products
  • intimidating governments with litigation or threat of litigation against tobacco control activities
  • fabricating support through front groups to influence tobacco related policies
  • influencing policies through corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • discrediting science on tobacco related harm
  • involvement in tobacco smuggling[7]

BAT in Sri Lanka

The Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), the company with the cigarette market monopoly in Sri Lanka, is a subsidiary of BAT. In 1904 BAT initiated its operations in Sri Lanka, or Ceylon, as the country was called at the time.[8] The company was listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange in 1952, of which 84% of shares was owned by BAT in 2016.[9][10]

BAT influences CTC and its activities via two mechanisms;

  • Governance – via BAT Executive Directors in the CTC governing Board.[9]
  • Networking – Non Sri Lankan BAT employees serves in the CTC Board of Directors and Executive Committee.[9] CTC employees are given employment in other BAT subsidiaries as a measure of “talent development” [11] According to the CTC officials, “Sri Lanka is considered as a centre for management excellence in the BAT”.[12]

For further details on BAT activities in Sri Lanka please see the pages Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) and Tobacco Industry Country Profile – Sri Lanka.

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

Relevant Link

British American Tobacco's website: [1]

The local language translations



  1. British American Tobacco. Website, 2017, accessed July 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 British American Tobacco, Our History: A time-line, undated, accessed February 2017
  3. British American Tobacco, Website, undated, accessed February 2017
  4. Reference for Business, Reference for Business company profile, 2017, accessed February 2017
  5. British American Tobacco, British American Tobacco Annual Report 2015, 2017, accessed March 2017
  6. British American Tobacco (BAT), May 2017, accessed May 2017
  7. BAT Involvement in Tobacco Smuggling, 17 March 2016, accessed May 2017
  8. KE Hendrickson. The Encyclopaedia of the Industrial Revolution in World History, Volume 3, 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2016, 2017, accessed May 2017
  10. Colombo Stock Exchange. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC Opens Trading at CSE, 2016, accessed May 2017
  11. The Island. CTC reinvigorates commitment to talent development, 24 March 2016, accessed May 2017
  12. Sunday Times. Ceylon Tobacco: Growing in a controversial market, 18 July 2004, accessed May 2017