Reduced risk on hold

| April 20, 2018

British American Tobacco (Malaysia) has said it will not introduce electronic cigarettes or other reduced-harm products in Malaysia until they are the subject of clear regulations, according to a story in The Edge Financial Daily.

“We are a bit concerned that if we do introduce these products, the regulatory framework would not be as sharp as they should be,” BAT Malaysia MD Erik Stoel told a media briefing after the group’s annual general meeting on April 19.

Guidelines were needed on the excise duties and marketing restrictions that would apply to such products.

“Fundamentally, we think that if we can sell potentially reduced-harm products to consumers in Malaysia then we should,” he said, adding that it was the “right” thing to do.

BAT had launched glo, a tobacco-heating device, in Japan in May last year, and had a “very good product portfolio” in Europe’s strong vaping market, Stoel said.

In 2015, several states in Malaysia banned the sale of e-cigarettes after the National Fatwa (religious edict) Council ruled that vaping was forbidden in Islam.

Introducing such reduced-harm products might be the lifeline needed by tobacco companies in Malaysia, which have seen their market size and subsequently their earnings, squeezed by the market for illegal cigarettes.

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Category: Breaking News, Corporate, Harm reduction, Markets, Next-generation products, People, Regulation, Tax, Vapor

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