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.
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