Innovating to lead the transformation of tobacco use
Our commitment to offering adult smokers a choice of reduced-risk products *† is reflected in the progress we are making in tobacco heating products.
Tobacco heating products (THPs) are devices that heat tobacco to generate a nicotine-containing aerosol with a tobacco taste which the user inhales.
Because the tobacco is only heated and not burned, the resulting aerosol can potentially contain substantially lower levels of the toxicants found in the smoke produced when tobacco is burned. This provides one indication that THPs have reduced-risk*† properties compared with conventional cigarettes.
Not all THPs are the same and we have different types in our portfolio.
Our flagship THP – glo – comprises a battery-powered device that heats specially-designed tobacco sticks to approximately 240 degrees Celsius. This process produces a nicotine containing aerosol with a tobacco taste which the user inhales.
glo was designed in the UK through a process that involved more than 100 experts across five continents, including scientists, engineers, product designers, tobacco specialists and toxicologists.
The glo device is one unit, with one button, making it simple and intuitive to use. As the tobacco sticks aren’t burned, no ash is produced.
We launched glo in the Japanese city of Sendai in December 2016 and we’re delighted with the progress it’s made since then. glo rolled out nationally in October 2017. In 2019 in Japan, which accounts for around 70% of global industry volume, BAT’s volume share grew to 5.9% in 2020, while our THP category volume share was up 19% to 11 billion sticks.
We’re also making good progress in other launch markets and our THPs were available in 20 markets at the end of 2020 with further expansion planned.
In 2020, we continued to expand our portfolio with the launch of glo Hyper and Neo demi-slims. We went far beyond the traditional quantitative and qualitative studies as we radically re-engineered not just the glo ecosystem, but our entire way of working. Our first step was to place consumers at the centre of the process, with insights gathered from thousands of consumers in person, across key markets. Every insight informed how we optimised the filter feel, puff satisfaction and flavour sensation. After over 75,000 prototype sticks, we landed on an experience that we knew resonated with target consumers because it had been built in collaboration with them. The pivotal breakthrough was in harnessing our advanced induction heating technology to unlock record heating times, delivered by our signature boost feature. The 150-strong global community of engineers, product developers, and operations teams came together across borders and time zones to build the Hyper device. It is designed to work with the new Neo demi-slims range which offer an elevated taste, with 30% more tobacco and the widest range of flavours in the market.
* Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
† Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to FDA regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without agency clearance.