KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — British American Tobacco (BAT) claimed it was working with the Health Ministry to draft new legislation on smokeless tobacco devices and e-cigarettes, a report said.
BAT managing director Erik Stoel told The Malaysian Reserve that his company wanted clear regulations before it considered launching tobacco heating products here.
“We are currently working on a proposal which we would like to submit to the Ministry of Health containing our suggestions on how a clear regulatory framework can be put in place so that a level playing field can be established for all interested players within this category, ” Stoel was quoted saying.
“While this is a slow process — as all national policies need to be designed with careful consideration — we sincerely hope that the government will take a positive stance on enabling a regulatory framework that can cater for potentially reduced-risk products,” he added.
BAT’s tobacco heating device, glo, reportedly saw a slowdown in sales in Japan last year. The maker of Dunhill cigarettes cut last October its full-year revenue target for vaping pens and tobacco heating devices.
Philip Morris International (PMI), the largest tobacco company in the world, reportedly claimed that its heated tobacco device, IQOS (which stands for “I quit original smoking”), and e-cigarettes were safer than conventional cigarettes.
But the Guardian reported a study by the University of California, published in the journal Tobacco Control, that found iQOS, which emits a vapour instead of smoke, may not be as harm free as claimed.
PMI launched IQOS in Malaysia last November, selling it at selected specialty stores in the Klang Valley, Penang, and Johor Baru.
theSun reported last December the Health Ministry as saying that tobacco refills for IQOS were not required to feature pictorial warnings because the heated tobacco device did not fall under the classification of “cigarette” as defined by the law.
Like BAT, Japan Tobacco has yet to launch its heat-not-burn products in Malaysia.