Heated Tobacco Products: British American Tobacco

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An image of BAT's glo devices

Image 1: Selection of BAT’s glo HTP devices (screenshot taken from discoverglo.jp, November 2019)

Due to its focus on e-cigarettes, BAT entered the HTP market later than its competitors Philip Morris International (PMI) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI).



In 2015, BAT launched its first HTP product, iFuse, a hybrid product that heated an e-liquid to around 30°C, to create a vapour that is passed through a tobacco pod (similar to JTI’s PloomTech).1 iFuse is no longer available and was superseded by glo.


Glo is BAT’s flagship HTP. It was first test marketed in Sendai, Japan, in December 2016.23 In 2017, the product was rolled out nationally in Japan and also introduced in other countries. 4 Glo uses a battery operated device to heat tobacco sticks to around 240-280°C.5 BAT’s sticks are called Neostiks and sold under its cigarette brand Kent and new brand Neo.6

BAT claimed that glo was “a real game changer for consumers”,3 and “a simpler and more practical alternative to IQOS.”7 In 2019, glo was available in three versions (image 1): the glo Pro, glo Nano, and the glo Sens. The Sens was a hybrid like the iFuse, although by 2021 it appeared to have been withdrawn.8 Glo is not as widely distributed as BAT’s e-cigarettes, although it said it aimed for glo to be the “fastest growing THP brand”, challenging PMI’s dominant product IQOS. In 2020 BAT launched glo Hyper, with “induction heating”, first in Japan, the Russia and Ukraine.8

BAT’s key markets for glo remain Japan and South Korea (together forming the bulk of the global market for HTPs)9 ]5 although Russia, Italy and Romania appear to be of increasing significance to the company.5 BAT has also reported trial marketing in Kazakhstan, Serbia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Canada, Bulgaria, and Switzerland.1011 In late 2019, BAT said it was “getting more and more traction in glo across Eastern Europe”.12 In March 2020, The Guardian reported that BAT was advertising glo on Facebook in Poland and Romania, in contravention of the platform’s policy.13 (It was also promoting its e-cigarettes through its social media accounts, after a clamp-down on the use of social media influencers.13 For more information see E-cigarettes: British American Tobacco.)

As of 2023, BAT stated that glo was available in 31 markets.14

In July 2022, BAT launched its glo Hyper X2 device, initially in Japan.15 In February 2023 it launched the product in South Korea, in direct competition with PMI’s IQOS and KT&G’s lil heated tobacco products, which dominate the market.1617 It was reported in local media that the company was promoting the new product with “a wide range of experiential marketing, from alcoholic beverages … to pop-up stores”.[translated from Korean]18 In 2023, BAT launched glo Hyper Air (available in 23 markets by the end of 2023), followed by the glo Hyper Pro (available in Italy and Poland by the end of 2023).14

Eclipse/ Neocore

In mid-2018, BAT had appeared to be intending to launch a HTP called Eclipse in the US.19 This was the brand name of a carbon-tipped product originally developed by Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) in 2014 (later renamed Revo), which the company had shelved in 2015.20 In 2017, BAT said it had received a “substantial equivalence” clearance from the FDA for Eclipse, which would enable it to launch the product in the US without a Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA), on the basis that it was essentially the same as RAI’s previously commercialised product.1920 BAT had previously said it was going to submit a PMTA to the FDA for glo.21 (PMI was granted such permission in April 2019 for its IQOS.) 22 In 2018, BAT received FDA approval for Eclipse, now renamed Neocore.232425

It is unclear what BAT’s plans are for either glo or Neocore in the US. Bowles previously indicated that he was in no rush to put glo on the US market, with e-cigarettes being the dominant newer product, and “oral tobacco” (presumably Velo) having “a very big potential in the US”.26 In 2021 BAT submitted a PMTA application to the U.S. FDA for glo, followed by a Modified Risk Tobacco Product application, which if granted permits reduced-risk marketing, in December 2023.27 In 2024, it was reported BAT stated it still saw limited potential for HTPs in the US and the company will remain focused on e-cigarettes.28

According to the Financial Times, in 2019 BAT had “ambitions to build its global heated tobacco share from 10 per cent to 25-35 per cent by 2024”.29 Although BAT appeared to gain some market share from PMI between 2017 and 2018, by 2019 PMI was regaining lost ground.930 In 2021, BAT remained below its target, holding 15.3% of the market.31  For more on the global HTP market and company shares see: Heated Tobacco Products

Non-tobacco product to circumvent regulation

In October 2023, BAT announced that it had launched a new non-tobacco stick for glo, called veo. Made with Rooibos tea leaves, and infused with nicotine and flavours, it was launched first in the Czech Republic, then other EU countries.3233 By the end of 2023, veo was available in 11 markets.14 It appeared that this product was developed in order to circumvent regulations which apply to heat sticks containing tobacco, specifically potential bans on flavours.3334 BAT declined a request from Reuters to comment on the implications for health of inhaling this product.34

Fined for misleading advertising

In February 2024, Italy’s competition authority, the AGCM, fined BAT €6 million (US$6.4 million) for misleading advertising relating to BAT’s HTPs.35 According to Reuters, BAT had failed to provide enough information to consumers about nicotine levels and health risks from Glo Hyper products. BAT was reported to be appealing the decision.36

For more information on BAT’s products and strategy see Newer Nicotine Products: British American Tobacco

See the page on Harm Reduction for an explanation of how the tobacco industry makes use of the language of public health to advance its commercial objectives.

See also the BAT section on Industry Approaches to Science on Newer Products.

Tobacco Tactics Resources

Relevant links

TCRG Research

For a comprehensive list of all TCRG publications, including TCRG research that evaluates the impact of public health policy, go to the Bath TCRG’s list of publications.

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