BAT at final stage of introducing tobacco heating products in Malaysia
April 18, 2019: KUALA LUMPUR: British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd is currently waiting for price approval before launching its tobacco heating product called glo in the local market.
BAT managing director Erik Stoel said it was ready to introduce the product into the market and had obtained the required licences to do so.
Stoel said the company was always looking at introducing harm-reducing products for consumers.
“We already have a product to launch. We are now waiting for the price approval from the Tobacco Control Centre and the Ministry of Health director-general,” he told reporters after BAT’s annual general meeting here today.
Stoel said the company had submitted the request for the approval last December.
glo is currently available in the overseas market including Japan, Italy and the UK.
Stoel said BAT was in the midst of testing its mini cigar product, priced at RM9 per pack, in Sabah and Sarawak in its bid to help combat illicit cigarettes trade.
“That is for us as a test if we can reduce illicit trade with the introduction of this new category. We have launched the pilot test for two weeks now in Sabah and Sarawak, purely to learn the market. That is one of our initiatived to see if we can address the issue of affordability.
“If that goes well, we are going to propose further things to the government with that,” he said.
Quoting Illicit Cigarette Study (ICS) 2018 Report by Nielsen, Stoel said illegal cigarette trade accounts for about 60 per cent of the cigarette market.
“This remains a big concern for the business and deserves immediate and higher attention by the government. Better legislation has been put into place in the form of stricter penalties which now need to be capitalised on,” he said.
Stoel said while it was encouraging that the government had publicly stated its intention to fight the illegal cigarette trade and recover RM1 billion in excise duty lost to illegal trade, it was critical that continuous and intensified enforcement actions by the Royal Malaysian Customs in tandem with the other law enforcement agencies were maintained.