Korean Financial News reported on August 29 that Kim Eun-ji, CEO of British American Tobacco Korea (BAT), said in an interview with the media that its goal is to promote the development of tobacco alternative products. Since he became CEO in 2020, heated tobacco product Glo has increased its market share in South Korea from 6.26% to 11.7%.
BAT Korea recently launched a closed disposable e-cigarette VUSE GO 800, which uses natural nicotine, and its nicotine liquid is all produced in the United States.
BAT had considered launching VUSE in the Korean market, but needed a formula that met the country’s nicotine content regulations (under 1%) and satisfied the tastes of adult smokers.
Kim Eun-ji said that the product has been very good after the launch, has exceeded expectations, the need to further increase production.
In the Korean e-cigarette market, it has been four years since big tobacco companies launched atomized e-cigarettes again. In 2019, due to the outbreak of severe lung disease among adolescents in the United States, the South Korean government issued a directive “strongly recommending the cessation of vaping electronic cigarettes.”
Kim said the company would respond to the government’s directive by “establishing and securing strong scientific evidence of potential harm reduction effects and reducing disagreements through ongoing communication.”
She also firmly stated that if an incident like 2019 happens again, the vaping e-cigarette market may disappear. But he doesn’t think BAT will trigger a similar incident.
“We will continue research and development to ensure the quality and safety of our products.”
She also mentioned that a change in business and operational direction is imperative in the transition from a single category to a multi-category one, compared to the past when only cigarettes were sold.
【1】 취임 4년차 김은지 BAT로스만스 대표 “액상형 전담 ‘뷰즈’로 승부건다”