Cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BAT) seems determined to stub out its traditional business, telling consumers last week that the best way to avoid the health risks of smoking is not to pick up the habit or simply to quit.

That might sound like commercial suicide with BAT owning Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Camel, Benson & Hedges and Newport — some of the most iconic international cigarette brands...

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