Scramble for HNB sticks

| August 30, 2017

With the South Korean government expected to raise taxes on the consumable sticks used in heat-not-burn (HNB) tobacco devices, an increasing number of vapers are stocking up on these products, according to a story in The Korea Bizwire.

Sources within the convenience store industry said yesterday that sales of IQOS HEETS had increased drastically since reports emerged last week that the taxation committee of the National Assembly’s Strategy and Finance Committee had agreed to increase a special consumption tax imposed on HNB products.

If the tax on HNB products increases as has been predicted, the price of a pack of 20 sticks is expected to rise from around 4,000 won – under the price of a pack of traditional tobacco cigarettes, 4,500 won – to 5,000 won.

At the convenience-store chain 7-Eleven, sales of HEETS on August 22-27 increased by more than 60 percent on those of the previous week.

Given a previous week-on-week sales increase of 1.7 percent, and given that other convenience-store chains are also experiencing strongly-increased sales, it seems clear that vapers are bulk purchasing ahead of the proposed tax hike.

Meanwhile, according to a story by Song Seung-hyun for The Investor, the government is in need of additional tax revenue to fund the welfare pledges it has made.

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Markets, Tax, Vapor

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