British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia, is keen on introducing its HnB device Glo, in the Southeast Asian country but is concerned about the local unclear legal framework.
“We are a bit concerned that if we were to introduce this type of products, the regulatory framework is not as sharp as it should be,” said BAT’s MD Erik Stoel after the company’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Malaysian vaping sector has lost more than 70% of their manufacturers in a only a few years because of strong opposition to vaping at very various levels. Stoel is concerned that without a clear regulatory and fiscal framework, Heat not Burn devices could end up facing the fate.
“It should also be clear what type of excise levels is to be paid and what are the marketing freedoms and restrictions connected with the product,” he said. BAT has invested approximately US$1.5 billion in researching and developing the safer alternatives.
High illicit cigarette trade
An article on the Malaysian Reserve pointed out that that Malaysians are thought to have smoked 21 billion cigarettes in 2017, 58.3% of which were contraband. Stoel said that the current enforcement strategies are failing at curbing the rise in illicit cigarette trade.
“The Health Ministry believes it should be under the purview of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (to tackle this issue), but the reality is that the latter cannot enforce everything because they only have a certain merit of what they can do, and do not have the resources,” he said.
Glo marketed as more user friendly than iQOS
Glo is a battery operated smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes and works by heating sticks containing tobacco leaves. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the devices and are heated up once the devices are switched on.
When compared to PMI’s iQOS, the device is marketed as simpler and more practical to use. Rather than consisting of a separate cigarette holder that is inserted into the charger after smoking each stick, Glo consists of just one device that can power more than twenty sticks with a full charge.
BAT study on HnB use and tooth discolorization
A newly published study undertaken by scientists at BAT looked at teeth exposure to cigarette smoke over a two-week period, in comparison to those exposed to vapor from an e-cigarette or the Glo device over the same time period.
The results indicated that teeth subjected to vapor by either Glo or e-cigarettes do not stain, but as expected, the teeth exposed to cigarette smoke show indications of staining almost immediately, which is attributed to the tar content in cigarettes.
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