Japanese regulation favours HnB products over e-cigarettes

The market for heated tobacco products in Japan is very favourable due to comparatively light regulation – as opposed to e-cigarettes, which are subject to more controls, according to a report from ECigIntelligence.

The regulations applied to heat-not-burn (HnB) products are for the most part very similar to those that apply to pipe tobacco, which benefits from a lower tax rate than regular tobacco.

The devices that heat the tobacco are not themselves subject to any tobacco laws, only consumer product regulations. They can be sold anywhere in Japan as long as they are not supplied with an actual tobacco product.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join in to hear about news, events, and podcasts in the sector

    See more

    By contrast, e-cigarettes that use e-liquid containing nicotine are classified as pharmaceuticals and require a pharmaceutical licence, while the e-cigarette itself is considered to be a medical instrument.

    E-cigarette devices sold on their own are unregulated, and the same goes for nicotine-free vapour products.

    Photo: Lens on Japan

    Author default picture


    This article was written by one of ECigIntelligence’s international correspondents. We currently employ more than 40 reporters around the world to cover individual vaping markets. For a full list, please see our Who We Are page.

    Our Key Benefits

    The global e-cigarette market is in an opaque regulatory environment that requires professionals to be on top of industry developments to make informed decisions and optimise their strategy.

    ECigIntelligence provides organisations with leading market and regulatory data analysis to anticipate and understand market developments globally and the impact of regulatory changes to the business.

    • Stay informed of any legal and market change in the sector that impacts your organisation
    • Maximise resources by getting market and legal data analysis daily in one place
    • Make smart decisions by understanding how the regulatory and market landscape evolves
    • Anticipate risks in your decisions by monitoring regulatory changes that impact your organization