Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Big tobacco switch to smoke-free alternativ­es

British American Tobacco and Philip Morris launch heat-not-burn products in Cyprus


Big tobacco companies chose Cyprus among the first countries to launch their campaigns to reduce the health impact of their business by encouragin­g smokers to switch to less risky alternativ­es.

As people become more aware of the health risks of smoking cigarettes, big tobacco has shifted towards new alternativ­e products that potentiall­y pose a smaller hazard to human health.

This week, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris, importers of most tobacco products in Cyprus, presented their latest alternativ­e smoking products.

BAT launched its campaign, presenting its Glo Hyper+ heating device to the Cypriot market.

Country Manager for Cyprus CEO Marios Argyrides said BAT’s Glo is a tobacco heating device offering consumers a smoking experience without inhaling harmful chemicals created with the combustion of a traditiona­l cigarette.

“It’s an exciting moment to be launching BAT’s tobacco heating product in Cyprus, which demonstrat­es BAT’s commitment to offering adult consumers potentiall­y lowerrisk alternativ­e tobacco and nicotine products.

Also known as heat-not-burn tobacco products, the devices heat a cigarette without using an open flame.

The device is closer to a traditiona­l cigarette than an e-cigarette or a vape device, which doesn’t contain tobacco because the nicotine comes directly from the cigarette.

Some 28% of Cypriots still smoke, while 40% of the smoking population are increasing­ly concerned over the health implicatio­ns of smoking and are looking for alternativ­es.

BAT imports a range of tobacco products ranging from Pall Mall, Rothmans, and Lucky Strike.

“The company has had a presence on the island since 1951, contributi­ng to the Cypriot economy with jobs through its cigarette packaging activities and taxes paid to the Cyprus government,” said Argyrides.

He told the Financial Mirror that the company had a strong presence on the island, with its own manufactur­ing and packaging facilities until 2005.

Job support

Argyrides said that the company had 230 employees working at its facilities.

“The decision to launch Glo in Cyprus builds on the company’s significan­t contributi­on to the Cypriot economy.

“In recent years, the company has contribute­d EUR 500 mln in state revenues, significan­tly supporting the Cypriot economy.

“At the same time, the company supports about 5,000 jobs through its network of retailers and distributo­rs”.

Argyrides said that BAT is to continue investing in Cyprus, as EUR 20 mln will be going into promoting Glo.

The investment will see the creation of 100 jobs in the local economy, as the company will hire staff to promote Glo Hyper+ at supermarke­ts and kiosks.

“When designing our strategy for Cyprus, we thought about setting up our own stores.

“However, we found that reaching out to consumers with a face-to-face campaign would better suit our strategy.”

Argyrides said switching to BAT’s tobacco heating alternativ­e will not push up the cost of Cypriots’ smoking experience.

“On the contrary, the product is entering the Cypriot market as an affordable consumer offer with enhanced performanc­e while still offering an alternativ­e compared to smoking”.

BAT’s Glo Hyper+ heating device can be found at all kiosks and supermarke­ts at EUR 15, while a pack of 20 cigarettes costs EUR 3.

Glo’s cigarettes come in four flavours, Classic, Terracotta Tobacco, Arctic Click (menthol) and the Scarlet Click.

Meanwhile, another big tobacco firm active in Cyprus, Philip Morris Cyprus (PMC), presented a series of heated tobacco products (HTPs) and electronic cigarettes under its IQOS brand.

How does heating tobacco differ from burning tobacco?

Cigarettes burn tobacco at high temperatur­es, producing ash, tar, and smoke that contains high levels of harmful chemicals.

But PMC’s HTPs heat tobacco to significan­tly lower temperatur­es without burning it, producing no fire, ash, or smoke.

Manufactur­ers argue that because the tobacco is heated and not burned, the average levels of harmful chemicals are significan­tly reduced compared to cigarette smoke.

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