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British American Tobacco recruited 1.4 million new users of vapes, heated tobacco and nicotine pouches in the first quarter, as it seeks to make cigarette alternatives profitable by 2025.

Shares in the London-headquartered tobacco company gained more than 2% in early stock market trading, after it reported a strong performance in both cigarettes and “non-combustible” products such as Vype, its flagship vapour brand. BAT has set a target of 50 million users of non-cigarette products by 2025, as it aims to burnish its credentials as a modern tobacco company promoting so-called “reduced risk” choices for nicotine users.