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BAT makes move on US heated tobacco market

February 8, 2024

Attendees try British American Tobacco's new tobacco heating system device 'glo' after a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

British American Tobacco (BAT) submitted an application to make certain health claims about its Glo Hyper Pro device in the US in December, its first clear move to bring the alternative smoking product to the key market.

BAT had applied to market the product in the US in 2021. But since then it has been unclear whether it planned to market the product in the United States.

BAT chief executive Tadeu Marroco told journalists on Thursday the company had submitted a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) application to the US Food and Drug Administration in December.

The move suggests the company is considering launching heated tobacco products in the world’s biggest market for smoking alternatives.

If granted, it would allow BAT to make certain health claims about the product in its US marketing, such as that it is lower risk or reduces exposure to harmful chemicals compared with smoking.

It follows pressure on the company to better compete in heated tobacco, where its rival Philip Morris International (PMI) has taken some 70 per cent of the market.

PMI plans to launch its IQOS heated tobacco device in the US this year.

Heated tobacco devices heat up packages of ground up tobacco but do not burn them in an attempt to avoid the harmful chemicals produced by the combustion of traditional smoking products.