British American Tobacco will ask FDA to approve Glo

Who will win the heat-not-burn battle of the tobacco megacorps?

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Another tobacco giant is planning to submit a heat-not-burn (HNB) product to the FDA for approval.

British American Tobacco (BAT) will ask the federal agency next year to grant its Glo product marketing authorization both as a substantially equivalent (SE) to an existing product (RJ Reynolds’ now-defunct Revo), and as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP).

The news follows the hoopla over the Philip Morris International (PMI) HNB product IQOS, which PMI has submitted to the FDA under both the MRTP pathway, and through a premarket tobacco application (PMTA). The PMTA filed by PMI was the first since the FDA deeming regulations took effect in August 2016. If approved, IQOS will be sold here by PMI partner Altria.

In Japan, the tobacco companies claim that 10 percent of smokers have switched to HNB. The success the HNB products have had in Japan is offered up as evidence that they’ll do well in the U.S. and U.K. But vaping products with nicotine are illegal in Japan, so any conclusions about HNB’s supposed superiority are premature.

BAT chief executive Nicandro Durante told Market Watch that Glo has had “no success whatsoever” in Italy and Switzerland, where vaping is popular. “Different markets have different profiles of consumers,” he explained. Glo is also sold in Canada, and BAT plans to market it in South Korea soon.

BAT cemented its position as the largest tobacco company in the world last week when Reynolds American International (RAI — best known as RJ Reynolds) shareholders approved BAT’s $49 billion bid to buy the North Carolina-based cigarette company. BAT had already owned 42 percent of Reynolds’ shares.

BAT is the cigarette company with the most invested in vapor. Unlike PMI and RAI, BAT has a substantial vaping portfolio, including various versions of its Vype pod mod. The company’s purchase of RAI might mean new competition for independent American vape companies.

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Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.