British American Tobacco said today it would lay off 2,300 employees globally by January, about 4% of its workforce.

The world's second largest tobacco company by sales is focusing on newer smoking options such as e-cigarettes. 

More than 20% of its senior roles will be affected as the maker of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes eliminates duplicate roles and consolidates business units. 

BAT employs over 55,000 people, according to its 2018 annual report. 

The company has said it will invest in what it calls its "New Category" business under CEO Jack Bowles and this year announced plans to consolidate the portfolio. 

The division makes tobacco heating products glo and Vype e-cigarettes as well as snuff and nicotine pouches. 

"Since taking on the role of chief executive five months ago, I have been clear that I wanted to make BAT a stronger, simpler and faster organisation," Bowles said today. 

"My goal is to oversee a step change in New Category growth," said Bowles, who took charge in April. 

BAT expanded by buying US rival Reynolds American for $49 billion in 2017. 

The company said the planned changes would help the firm deliver on its target of generating £5 billion of revenue in new categories by 2023-24. 

By focusing on the three "New Category" brands, Bowles has said BAT would see less complexity and faster decision making when responding to new trends. 

This month, BAT said it would launch two new tobacco heating products in Japan under its glo brand.

It is also seeking to close the gap with market leader Philip Morris International in the US fast-growing vaping industry.

BAT beat first-half sales forecasts last month, helped by higher demand for e-cigarettes, and it predicted a stronger performance in the second half as it focuses on a smaller number of fast-growing brands. 

Like its rivals, BAT is striving for higher smoking alternative sales as volumes of traditional cigarettes slide. 

At the same time, however, health concerns over e-cigarettes are increasing. 

The Trump administration announced plans this week to remove all flavoured e-cigarettes from store shelves as officials warned that sweet flavours had drawn millions of children into nicotine addiction.