As sales of traditional cigarettes in international markets like Japan are going down, the competition between some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is heating up when it comes to the smokeless category. Last week, Japan Tobacco unveiled two new heat-not-burn (HNB) products in an effort to stave off the competition from Philip Morris International, Inc. and British American Tobacco. Japan is currently the largest HNB market in the world.
Both tobacco giants are going after the growing international vape category with the growing popularity of HNB. Smokers in international markets are moving toward alternatives to traditional combustible tobacco products. While Japan Tobacco reportedly holds a 60 percent share of Japan’s cigarette market according to Investing.com, it needs to grow its share of the HNB market in order to remain competitive. Philip Morris has found success in international markets with its HNB device iQOS, while Japan Tobacco has lagged with Ploom TECH, which has suffered from some production issues and slow adaptation from consumers.