British American Tobacco (BAT) announced Tuesday that it plans to test its new tobacco-based cigarette alternative in Japan, with plans for expansion world-wide based on data collected in the Japanese market.
The BAT product is called “glo” and is scheduled to launch in Asia on Dec. 12. The glo would be directly competing with Philip Morris International’s iQOS device, which has already been rolled out in test markets that include Italy, Switzerland and Japan.
Like the iQOS, the glo heats tobacco packed in replaceable cartridges called Kent Neostiks at a temperature high enough to create an inhalable vapor, with claims by BAT that the vapor the device produces has about 90 percent less toxicant than traditional cigarette smoke.
Reuters reports that BAT has invested “more than $1 billion over the past five years in the development, scale up and launch of cigarette alternatives.”
Big tobacco companies look to differentiate themselves in the smoke-free alternative category, which has largely been dominated by vapor products in recent years. Devices like iQOS and glo both use conventional tobacco as opposed to e-liquid.
The glo device will cost 8,000 yen ($76.61) with packs of twenty Kent Neostiks, which come in three flavors, costing 420 yen ($4.02), according to Reuters.
BAT is also in the process of buying U.S. peer Reynolds American Inc. in a $47 billion takeover that would create the world’s biggest listed tobacco company, Reuters also reports.
To read more, click here for the Reuters article.