Difference between revisions of "E-Cigarettes: Japan Tobacco International"

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[[Image:Ploom Logo2.jpg|400px|thumb|right|Picture 1. JTI's Ploom e-cigarette logo, February 2014]]  
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[[Japan Tobacco International]] (JTI) did not have a stake in e-cigarette technology until the company took a minority share in United States (US) company Ploom Inc. (now known as [[JUUL Labs]]) in 2011. It acquired UK-based e-cigarette company Zandera in 2014, and US company Logic in 2015. Since 2016 it has focussed on marketing its Logic e-cigarettes and as of September 2019 was selling the brand in 19 countries.<ref name=schmid> T. Schmid, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927111315/https://www.tobaccoasia.com/features/logic-turns-compact/ Logic turns compact], ''Tobacco Asia'', 20 September 2019, accessed September 2019</ref> 
  
[[Japan Tobacco International]] (JTI) did not have a stake in the new world of e-cigarettes, until the company took a minority share in the Californian start-up company Ploom, signing an agreement in 2011 to commercialise its nicotine ‘vaporisers’ outside the USA. In June 2014, JTI acquired UK e-cigarette brand E-lites from previous owner Zandera.<ref name = ft>D. Robinson, Japan Tobacco joins rivals in e-cigarette market with E-lites buy. ''The Financial Times'', 11 June 2014</ref>
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* For more information on Ploom, and similar products produced by other tobacco companies, see [[Heated Tobacco Products]].
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[[Image:E-lites June2014.JPG|300px|thumb|right|Image 1. E-Lites e-cigarette and charger (screen grab www.e-lites.co.uk, June 2014)]]
  
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==Acquired E-Cigarette Brands==
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* '''E-Lites''' Acquired UK e-cigarette company Zandera for an undisclosed amount in 2014.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190926131955/https://www.jti.com/our-views/newsroom/jti-acquires-leading-e-cigarette-brand-e-lites JTI acquires leading e-cigarette brand E-Lites], JTI press release, undated, accessed September 2019</ref><ref name = ft> D. Robinson, Japan Tobacco joins rivals in e-cigarette market with E-lites buy. ''Financial Times'', 11 June 2014</ref><ref name=ARfourteen> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://www.jt.com/investors/results/annual_report/pdf/2014/annual.fy2014_E_all.pdf Annual Report FY2014], accessed September 2019</ref>  E-Lites was one of the leading e-cigarette brands in the UK, and the first to be available in the four biggest supermarkets.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20190926141246/https://pressreleases.responsesource.com/news/82036/e-lites-becomes-first-brand-to-conquer-the-big-four/ E-lites becomes the first brand to conquer the big four], ''SourceWire News Distribution'', 6 March 2014, accessed June 2014</ref>
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* ''' Logic'''  Acquired in July 2015, JTI described it as “the leading independent US e-cigarette company”.<ref> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://web.archive.org/web/20190926144705/https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/press-releases/documents/2015/jt-acquires-logic-leading-independent-us-e-cigarette-company.pdf  JT acquires Logic, the leading independent US e-cigarette company], JT press release, 30 April 2015, accessed September 2019</ref><ref name=ARsixteen> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://www.jt.com/investors/results/annual_report/pdf/2016/annual.fy2016_E_all.pdf  Annual Report FY2016], accessed September 2019</ref>
  
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From 2016, E-Lites was rebranded as Logic and JTI’s e-cigarettes were on sale under this brand.<ref name=ARsixteen/> 
  
==Ploom==
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As of October 2019 the US Logic website did not state that the brand is owned by JTI.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://www.logicvapes.us/ Logic Vapes], website, undated, accessed October 2019</ref> The UK website states in the policy small print that it is owned by [[Gallaher]] (a tobacco company acquired by JTI in 2017) and “JTI UK”, but does not give the full name of the company.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://logicvapes.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/ Terms and Conditions], Logic UK website, undated, accessed October 2019</ref>
[[Image:Ploom grafic.jpg|400px|thumb|left|Picture 2. Businessweek explains Ploom, November 2013]]
 
  
The Ploom tobacco pod is widely available in the US through a network of thousands of domestic retail stores. The company launched Ploom on to its domestic market Japan in December 2013. Before that it was introduced — outside the U.S. — in Austria in May; and in Korea and Italy since. Online Ploom is available at [http://www.ploom.com ploom.com] and locally for instance at [http://ploom.jp/ ploom.jp] operated by JT Creative Service Co. Ltd. - a subsidiary of JTI.<ref = name = bloom>Brad Stone, [http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-21/plooms-e-cigarettes-vaporizers-use-real-tobacco Ploom's E-Cigarettes and Vaporizers Use Real Tobacco], ''BloombergBusinessweek'', 21 November 2013, accessed December 2013</ref>
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==E-Cigarette Products==
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Product
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! Details
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|-
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|Logic Original
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| ‘Cig-alike’ resembling the original E-Lites device.<ref> Archy D, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927165023/https://e-cigreviews.org.uk/e-lites-review/ What happened to e-lites], e-cigreviews.org.uk, January 2019, accessed September 2019</ref>
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|-
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|Logic Curv
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|A “refined” cig-alike. Originally the E-Lites Curve, relaunched ‘Curv’ in 2015.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/local-files/gb/english/documents/news-documents/uk_e-lites_curv_atl_170815.pdf A Curv Makes the Difference], JTI press release, 17 August 2015, accessed September 2019</ref> Rebranded as Logic in 2016. 
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|-
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|Logic Power
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|A range of rechargeable ‘cig-a-like’ devices sold in the US. Also has a disposable variation.<ref> Japan Tobacco Inc. [https://www.logicvapes.us/about-power About Power], Logic website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref>
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|-
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|Logic Pro
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|Closed tank system, originally launched by Logic in 2014, using sealed capsules with multiple flavours (see below). An updated version, the Logic Pro 2, was released in Europe in 2018.<ref> [https://web.archive.org/web/20190930120256/https://grocerytrader.co.uk/jti-updates-logic-pro-uks-no-1-capsule-vaping-devicei-enhanced-with-new-soft-touch-finish-and-faster-charging/ JTI updates Logic PRO UK’s No.1 capsule vaping device], ''Grocery Trader'', 28 September 2019, accessed September 2019</ref>
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|-
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|Logic LQD
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|Open tank system (developed from the original Logic product), re-launched in the UK in December 2016 with an ad campaign on buses, TV and in cinemas.<ref> M. Dennis, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927164338/https://www.talkingretail.com/products-news/ad-campaign-break-logic-lqd-vaping-range-22-12-2016/ Ad campaign to break for logic liquid vaping range], ''Talking Retail'', 22 December 2016, accessed September 2019</ref>
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|-
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| Logic Compact
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| Launched by JTI in the UK in August 2018, with nicotine salt variation and different nicotine concentrations available in different countries (see below).<ref name=AReighteen/><ref>Japan Tobacco International, [https://logicvapes.co.uk/press-release/ Compact in size, big on flavour], Logic Vapes press release, September 2018, accessed October 2019</ref>
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|-
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|}
  
Ploom's owners James Monsees and Adam Bowen met studying art and mechanical engineering in Stanford’s graduate product design program. The young company, founded in 2007, came close to running out of money several times before JTI came on board.  
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==Product Innovation==
JTI since coordinates the manufacture of modelTwo tobacco pods in Trier, Germany, and handles Ploom’s international marketing from its headquarters in Geneva.<ref = name = bloom/>
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[[Image: JTI_LogicSaltsIntense.PNG|500px|thumb|right|Image 1. Logic Compact ‘Intense’ nicotine salt product flavours.<ref name=saltflav/>]]
  
== Heating Instead of Burning ==
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===Flavours===
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Similar to cigarettes, flavour is an important [[Product Innovation| product innovation]] tool to boost e-cigarettes sales. Capsules for the Logic Pro, and bottled liquids for the LQD, are available in different flavours such as “forest fruits” and “chai latte”. There are also several liquids designed to produce larger vape clouds, including “cherry sling”, “coconut crush” and “minted mojito”.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://logicvapes.co.uk/lqd/e-liquid.html E-liquid], Logic Vapes UK website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref> While its manufacturing is mostly in China and Japan, in 2018 JTI opened a European factory in Gostkow, Poland, to manufacture e-liquids for both Logic and its HTPs.<ref name=AReighteen/>
  
The Ploom vaporizer is a pocket-sized smoking alternative device, like [[E-cigarette: PMI| PMI's]] “heat not burn” product. It heats tobacco contained in pods to a constant temperature, vaporizing nicotine and flavours without burning the materials or producing smoke. Each pod, described by some as baby Nespresso capsules, can be used for about 10–15 minutes.<ref>''Tobacco Reporter'', [http://www.tobaccoreporter.com/2013/11/jt-to-launch-ploom-on-domestic-market/ JT to launch Ploom on domestic market], 28 November 2013, accessed February 2014</ref>
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===Higher Doses of Nicotine===
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The Logic Compact is the only JTI device which uses the “Intense” range capsules containing nicotine salts (see Image 1), which are created when ‘freebase’ nicotine is dissolved in acid.<ref> Centre for Media and Democracy,[https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Freebase_nicotine Freebase Nicotine], Sourcewatch, 27 September 2017, accessed July 2019</ref> This can make a higher dose of nicotine more palatable and so allow higher doses of more concentrated nicotine to be consumed. In the EU the highest permissible level of nicotine is 20mg/ml. Whereas other Logic e-liquids have a choice of nicotine level (12 or 18 mg), Intense capsules all contain 18mg. On the product pages of JTI’s UK website, the Intense range is described as a “smoother, satisfying and enhanced experience”, and “perfect for experienced vapers”.<ref name=saltflav> Japan Tobacco International, [https://logicvapes.co.uk/compact/nicotine-salts.html New Compact Intense. Nicotine Salts], Logic Vapes UK website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref>
  
While many e-cigs are designed to look like conventional cigarettes—white sticks with glowing lights at the end, Ploom’s modelTwo looks more like a pen. The power button halfway has a LED light to indicate the strength of its rechargeable lithium ion battery. ''Bloomberg Businessweek'' produced this graphic (picture 2) to show its working.
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In some of JTI’s markets, concentrations of 34 and 58/59 mg/ml are on sale. <ref name=schmid/>
  
This $40 model was released in July 2013 and comes with an assortment of pods that contain either pure tobacco or tobacco-heavy flavor blends such as Orchard, which tastes of peaches, and Rocket, which includes hints of cinnamon and mint.  
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=== “Plug and Play” For “Health Benefits”===
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In March 2019, JTI announced a partnership with US company [https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/vapetech/ Plug and Play], a technology ‘incubator’,  to develop a programme called “Vapetech”. JTI said it was “bringing together innovators and data experts to develop technology that improves the experience and health benefits of vaping.”<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927162643/https://www.jti.com/jti-partners-plug-and-play-launch-vapetech-incubator JTI partners with Plug and Play to launch Vapetech incubator], JTI press release, 7 March 2019, accessed September 2019</ref> In its 2018 annual report JTI stated that the outcomes of this partnership would benefit the growth of both Logic and Ploom.<ref name=AReighteen/> At the time of writing it was not clear what products were being developed. Other tobacco companies, including [[E-Cigarettes: Philip Morris International|Philip Morris]], [[E-Cigarettes: British American Tobacco|British American Tobacco]] and [[JUUL Labs]] have produced devices which use ‘lifestyle’ apps to gather user data.
  
The earlier model, Pax, is larger and cylindrical. Released last year at $250, it is a vaporizer with a pop-out mouthpiece and a lid that rotates open to reveal a small compartment for loose-leaf tobacco or other substances. By vape standards, it’s slim, stylish, and easy to use, ''Businessweek'' thought. Monsees says Ploom isn’t targeting the market for marijuana, but he doesn’t seem to mind taking advantage of the Pax’s potential for repurposing.<ref = name = bloom/>
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==Harm Reduction Claims== 
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JTI refers to both its e-cigarettes and HTPs as “Reduced Risk Products” (RRPs), sometimes preceded by the word “potentially”.<ref name=jtiweb> Japan Tobacco International, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190926122937/https://www.jti.com/our-views/building-brighter-future?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=RRP Building a Brighter Future], JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref><ref name=rrp> Japan Tobacco International, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190926123617/https://www.jti.com/about-us/what-we-do/our-reduced-risk-products Our reduced-risk products – our vaping products], JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref><ref name=AReighteen> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/global-files/documents/jti-annual-reports/jt-annual-report-2018.pdf Annual Report FY2018], accessed September 2019</ref> Similar terms are used by [[E-Cigarettes: British American Tobacco|British American Tobacco (BAT)]] and [[E-Cigarettes: Philip Morris International|Philip Morris International (PMI)]].
  
== #Rethink Tobacco==
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JTI describes its “RRPs” as offering consumers a choice:
Ploom's slogan is: "It's time to rethink tobacco". To promote the e-cigarette, the company set up what is to be a series live music sessions with Filter Magazine, marked '''#RethinkMusic'''.<ref> Ploom, [http://www.ploom.com/news/#sthash.q7506zWt.dpuf Ploom and FILTER #RethinkMusic: Jamestown Revival], 6 February 2014, accessed February 2014</ref>
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<blockquote>
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“Consumers all over the world vary in their needs, demands and desires, and where one individual might find conventional products meet those requirements, a growing number are looking to the benefits of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). This is usually due to the products’ potential for harm reduction and/or an experience that is more tailored to their lifestyle or situation.<ref name=rrp/>
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</blockquote>
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These products form part of JTI’s stated strategy for “Building a Brighter Future”.<ref name=jtiweb/><ref name=rrp/> In 2019, it claimed to have spent US$1 billion in five years on “design, development and scientific research” into RRPs (including HTPs).<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [Reduced-risk products – How do they fit in the future of JTI], JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref> Its 2018 annual report specified a total investment of 200 billion yen [US$1.85 billion] in RRPs by 2020.<ref name=AReighteen/> 
  
==E-Lites==
 
[[Image:E-lites June2014.JPG|200px|thumb|right|Picture 3. E-Lites e-cigarette and charger (screen grab www.e-lites.co.uk)]]
 
  
In early 2014 E-lites was one of the leading e-cigarette brands in the UK. It was the first e-cigarette brand to be available for purchase in the big four grocery multiples (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons) in addition to being sold at wholesalers and smaller retail outlets, and having the highest number of visitors to its website than any other brand in the e-cigarette industry. In 2013, its products accounted for over £40 million in retail sales.<ref>[http://www.sourcewire.com/news/82036/e-lites-becomes-first-brand-to-conquer-the-big-four#.U5m40XJdV8E E-lites becomes the first brand to conquer the big four], ''SourceWire News Distribution'', 6 March 2014, accessed June 2014</ref>
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==Key Markets ==
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Before 2016, key markets for JTI’s e-cigarettes were the UK and US.<ref name=eurvapour/> After E-Lites products were rebranded as Logic in 2016, the company started to expand sales globally.<ref name=eurvapour/><ref name=AReighteen/> In 2018, JTI was the first multinational tobacco company to market an e-cigarette in Switzerland after the Swiss courts lifted a ban on sales.<ref> Euromonitor International, Japan Tobacco Inc Global Company Profile, 23 August 2018</ref>
  
In addition to reporting that E-Lites were available for sale in more than 20,000 stores in the UK, then CEO of E-lites, Adrian Everett, said:
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The Logic Compact product variation appears to be key to the company’s strategy, with launches early 2019 in Ireland, Romania, Russia, Canada, and mainland Europe, including Switzerland.<ref name=schmid/><ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/local-files/ch/english/documents/news-documents/20190402_Logic_Compact_launch_EN.pdf Logic Compact Launch], JTI press release, April 2019, accessed October 2019</ref> The device launched in Kuwait in April, JTI’s first launch in the Middle East. ''Tobacco Asia'' quoted Roger Hambleton, JTI’s RRP brand manager in the Middle East, saying that “there has emerged a genuine desire for RRPs [in Kuwait] and locals hold a strong belief in the potential health benefits of vaping”.<ref name=schmid/> 
  
"Conquering the UK was an essential first step in the E-lites global journey. With our current trade expansion plans, launch of our new product later this year and significantly increased investment into our brand, we aim to take an even bigger share of the current £2 billion global e-ci market."
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In September 2019, JTI launched Compact in New Zealand.<ref name=schmid/> Tobacco companies in New Zealand, notably [[E-Cigarettes: British American Tobacco]] and [[Imperial Tobacco]], were reported to be aggressively marketing their products (including HTPs) at that time, in anticipation of possible regulation being introduced by the New Zealand government.<ref> M. Theunissen, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927160601/https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/397630/vaping-ads-rocket-ahead-of-proposed-regulation Vaping ads rocket ahead of proposed regulation], ''RNZ'', 28 August 2019, accessed September 2019</ref>
  
Talking of its acquisition of E-Lites JTI said that the deal is expected to have a minor effect on its performance and cash flow in fiscal 2014.<ref name =ft/>
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As of November 2019, the most recent market launch was in Portugal.<ref name=lusa>TPN/Lusa, [https://web.archive.org/web/20191104120649/https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/japan-tobacco-to-enter-portuguese-market/51818 Japan Tobacco to enter Portuguese Market], ''The Portugal News'', 1 November 2019, accessed November 2019</ref>  
  
:*For more see: [[E-cigarettes: Marketing]]
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==Advertising Strategy==
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[[Image:JTI_Logic_Vapartment.PNG|500px|thumb|right| Image 2. JTI's launch of the Logic Compact in a pop-up ‘vaping lounge’, September 2018<ref name=thelist/>]]
  
== Other TobaccoTactics Resources ==
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As e-cigarette advertising has become more restricted, in Europe and elsewhere, tobacco companies have been forced to become more creative. JTI, like other companies, is increasingly using social media and influencers to promote its products.<ref> M. Nedelman, R. Selig, A. Azad, [https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/17/health/juul-social-media-influencers/index.html #Juul: How social media hyped nicotine for a new generation], ''CNN'', 19 December 2019, accessed October 2019</ref><ref> Action on Smoking and Health, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190816150941/https://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/blog/bat-asa-e-cigarettes/ BAT under investigation by the ASA for promoting e-cigs to young people on social media], ASH blog, 29 April 2019, accessed August 2019</ref><ref> J. Hoek, B. Freeman, [https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2019/07/16/tobaccocontrol-2019-054967 BAT(NZ) draws on cigarette marketing tactics to launch Vype in New Zealand], ''Tobacco Control'': Industry Watch, 17 July 2019</ref>
  
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=== The “Vapartment”===
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Promotion around the launch of Compact, in September 2018, included a collaboration with UK fashion designer Pearl Lowe, who produced a case for the device. This was only available “as part of an online inclusive starter pack”.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://logicvapes.co.uk/press-release/ Compact in size, big on flavour]], Logic Vapes press release, September 2018, accessed September 2019</ref> Lowe attended a launch party in a ‘pop-up’ vaping lounge, “the Vapartment” in a [https://www.hellolove.org/|venue in London] associated with art and design, sustainability and healthy living (see image 2). It was held at the start of London Fashion Week, and the first 50 visitors were offered a free Logic Compact if they provided their e-mail address. They could also try out the device in what was promoted as “the perfect alternate office environment”.<ref name=thelist> [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927105156/https://www.list.co.uk/event/1086660-the-vapartment/ The Vapartment], ''The List'', undated, accessed September 2019</ref> The creative company who designed the event said that the media launch was followed by “3 days of consumer engagement and sampling, featuring DJ’s and influencers”.<ref> [https://web.archive.org/web/20190927105553/http://hopper.uk/vapartment/ Logic vapes – Vapartment], Hopper website, undated, accessed September 2019</ref>
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For more background information on e-cigarette promotion and marketing, go to [[E-cigarettes: Marketing]] and [[E-cigarettes: Marketing Rules]].
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==Lobbying Regulators For Fewer Restrictions==
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The intended roll out of Logic products in the Middle East and Asia was restricted by existing regulation on e-cigarettes and an increasing number of outright bans, including in Japan.<ref name=ggtc> Global Centre for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC), [https://ggtc.world/2019/06/26/e-cigarette-ban-regulation-global-status-as-of-june-2019/ E-cigarette ban & regulation: Global Status as of June 2019], 26 June 2019, accessed September 2019</ref> Denis Fichot, JTI’s RRPs Corporate Affairs Director, stated the company’s position on regulation to ''Tobacco Asia'' in September 2019:
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<blockquote>
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“We advocate for open and regulated markets, because adult consumers should have the opportunity to opt for alternatives to [conventional] smoking”.<ref name=schmid/>
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</blockquote>
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He went on to say that a “a proportionate and evidence-based legislative framework” could help protect consumers and create a “level playing field for competition”.<ref name=schmid/>
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===Direct Lobbying===
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In March 2019, JTI gave a written submission to a consultation on the review of tobacco control legislation in Australia. It urged the government to adopt different regulations for e-cigarettes, and other RRPs, offering to “provide information on how tobacco control legislation could be improved in Australia to benefit public health” and cited Better Regulation principles.<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/key-regulatory-submissions-documents/submissions/aus-final/2019-03-15-australia-plain-packaging-review-of-tobacco-control-legislation-jti-response.pdf Submission to the Consultation on the Review of Tobacco Control Legislation in Australia], 15 March 2019, accessed September 2019</ref> 
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For more examples of how tobacco companies have used ‘Better Regulation’ arguments against tobacco control measures see [[EU Better Regulation]].
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JTI had submitted a response to a previous enquiry in Australia in 2017, using the ‘consumer choice’ argument: “JTI believes in the freedom of adults to choose whether they wish to use electronic cigarettes and that no one should use them unless he or she understands the risks associated with doing so.”<ref> Japan Tobacco International, [https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Health_Aged_Care_and_Sport/ElectronicCigarettes/Submissions JTI’s response to the Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia], 5 July 2017, accessed September 2019</ref> As of September 2019, a full ban on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in Australia remained in place.<ref name=ggtc/>
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===Indirect Lobbying===
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JTI is a member of the [[UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA)]] and has a position on the board.<ref name=UKVIAwho> UK Vaping Industry Association, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190424103748/https://www.ukvia.co.uk/who-we-are  Who We Are], UKVIA website archived page, undated, accessed March 2019</ref> UKVIA lobbied against e-cigarette regulation at the 8th WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP 8) in 2018. For more information see [[UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA)]].
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On 14 October 2019, JTI sponsored a fringe event at the Scottish National Party conference. The event was titled “Where Next for Vaping In Scotland” and was chaired by John Lee from the [[Scottish Grocers’ Federation]], with speakers listed as Scottish Members of Parliament (MSPs) Emma Harper (convener of the Health and Sport Committee) and John Mason (member of the Cross Party Group on Independent Convenience Stores) and Andy Morrison from the New Nicotine Alliance.<ref> Dodds Events (@DodsEvents),  Tweet: “At #SNP Conference…Join us in Meeting Room 3 to discuss Where Next for Vaping in Scotland”?, Twitter, 15 October 2019 12:35</ref>
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==Market Share and Global Expansion Plans==
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In 2018, JTI’s e-cigarettes accounted for 75% of the value of the company’s trade in RRPs (its HTPs having the smaller share).<ref name=AReighteen> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://www.jti.com/sites/default/files/global-files/documents/jti-annual-reports/jt-annual-report-2018.pdf Annual Report FY2018], accessed September 2019</ref><ref name=AReighteen/> According to market research company Euromonitor International, JTI had a 2.8% share of the global e-cigarette market, down from 4.1% in 2014.<ref name=eurvapour> Euromonitor International, Vapour Products: World, 2013-2018, accessed September 2019</ref> Over the same period the market had doubled in value from US$6.8 billion to over US$15.6 billion.<ref name=eurmarket> Euromonitor International: UK e-cigarette market value, 2014-2018, accessed September 2019</ref>
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Like the other international tobacco companies, JTI lost market share in the US to [[JUUL Labs]] between 2015 and 2018 (from 8.5% to 3.2%, although the value of the US market also more than doubled).<ref name=eurvapour/><ref name=eurmarket/> Between 2016 and 2018, JTI maintained its share in the UK (around 6.5%) and increased it in Russia and Ireland, from 1.5% and 3% respectively to around 10% in each.<ref name=eurvapour/>
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===Sales Strategy===
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By the end of 2018, JTI was selling its products in 11 countries.<ref name=AReighteen/> In its 2018 annual report it announced its intention to expand sales of the Compact device to a further 13 countries in 2019, “prioritizing the markets that matter the most”.<ref name=AReighteen/> ref name=In November 2019, with the launch of Compact in Portugal, it had reached 20 countries.<ref name=lusa/>
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JTI’s approach in the UK included specialist retail trade websites targeted specifically at shop owners and “Logic Champions” to help them maximise their sales. JTI’s Head of Reduced Risk Products, Nick Geens, advised retailers that e-cigarette products should be displayed next to tobacco products: “Once stores expand their vaping range …it is best to move to a category solution where vaping and tobacco products are displayed in the same gantry to ensure quick service time and repeat custom.”<ref> F. Stein, [https://web.archive.org/web/20190930140739/https://www.slrmag.co.uk/knowledge-key-vaping-growth/ Knowledge key to vaping growth], ''Scottish Local Retailer'', 11 January 2019, accessed September 2019</ref>
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===Tobacco Remains Central===
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By the end of 2018, 75% of JTI’s RRP retail value came from Logic e-cigarettes, with 25% from its HTP, Ploom.<ref name=AReighteen/> However traditional tobacco products remain central to JTI’s business. A 2019 presentation to investors made clear that the company’s strategy aimed to deliver returns “by strengthening conventional tobacco products, the main driver of our profit growth”.<ref> Japan Tobacco Inc., [https://www.jt.com/investors/results/forecast/pdf/2019/Second_Quarter/20190731_06.pdf JT Group, 2019 Second-Quarter results], CFP Presentation, 1 August 2019, accessed September 2019</ref >
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==TobaccoTactics Resources ==
 
* [[E-cigarettes]]
 
* [[E-cigarettes]]
* [[E-cigarettes: Regulation]]
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* [[E-Cigarettes: Philip Morris International]]
* [[E-cigarettes: Marketing]]
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* [[E-Cigarettes: Altria]]
* [[E-cigarettes: At The Pharmacy]]
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* [[E-Cigarettes: British American Tobacco]]
 
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* [[Fontem Ventures]]
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* [[JUUL Labs]]
 
* [[Harm Reduction]]
 
* [[Harm Reduction]]
 
* [[Product Innovation]]
 
* [[Product Innovation]]
 
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
 
[[Category:Next Generation Products]][[Category: Harm Reduction]][[Category: Product Innovation]] [[Category: E-Cigarettes]]
 
[[Category:Next Generation Products]][[Category: Harm Reduction]][[Category: Product Innovation]] [[Category: E-Cigarettes]]

Revision as of 15:43, 4 November 2019

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) did not have a stake in e-cigarette technology until the company took a minority share in United States (US) company Ploom Inc. (now known as JUUL Labs) in 2011. It acquired UK-based e-cigarette company Zandera in 2014, and US company Logic in 2015. Since 2016 it has focussed on marketing its Logic e-cigarettes and as of September 2019 was selling the brand in 19 countries.[1]

  • For more information on Ploom, and similar products produced by other tobacco companies, see Heated Tobacco Products.
Image 1. E-Lites e-cigarette and charger (screen grab www.e-lites.co.uk, June 2014)

Acquired E-Cigarette Brands

  • E-Lites Acquired UK e-cigarette company Zandera for an undisclosed amount in 2014.[2][3][4] E-Lites was one of the leading e-cigarette brands in the UK, and the first to be available in the four biggest supermarkets.[5]
  • Logic Acquired in July 2015, JTI described it as “the leading independent US e-cigarette company”.[6][7]

From 2016, E-Lites was rebranded as Logic and JTI’s e-cigarettes were on sale under this brand.[7]

As of October 2019 the US Logic website did not state that the brand is owned by JTI.[8] The UK website states in the policy small print that it is owned by Gallaher (a tobacco company acquired by JTI in 2017) and “JTI UK”, but does not give the full name of the company.[9]

E-Cigarette Products

Product Details
Logic Original ‘Cig-alike’ resembling the original E-Lites device.[10]
Logic Curv A “refined” cig-alike. Originally the E-Lites Curve, relaunched ‘Curv’ in 2015.[11] Rebranded as Logic in 2016.
Logic Power A range of rechargeable ‘cig-a-like’ devices sold in the US. Also has a disposable variation.[12]
Logic Pro Closed tank system, originally launched by Logic in 2014, using sealed capsules with multiple flavours (see below). An updated version, the Logic Pro 2, was released in Europe in 2018.[13]
Logic LQD Open tank system (developed from the original Logic product), re-launched in the UK in December 2016 with an ad campaign on buses, TV and in cinemas.[14]
Logic Compact Launched by JTI in the UK in August 2018, with nicotine salt variation and different nicotine concentrations available in different countries (see below).[15][16]

Product Innovation

Image 1. Logic Compact ‘Intense’ nicotine salt product flavours.[17]

Flavours

Similar to cigarettes, flavour is an important product innovation tool to boost e-cigarettes sales. Capsules for the Logic Pro, and bottled liquids for the LQD, are available in different flavours such as “forest fruits” and “chai latte”. There are also several liquids designed to produce larger vape clouds, including “cherry sling”, “coconut crush” and “minted mojito”.[18] While its manufacturing is mostly in China and Japan, in 2018 JTI opened a European factory in Gostkow, Poland, to manufacture e-liquids for both Logic and its HTPs.[15]

Higher Doses of Nicotine

The Logic Compact is the only JTI device which uses the “Intense” range capsules containing nicotine salts (see Image 1), which are created when ‘freebase’ nicotine is dissolved in acid.[19] This can make a higher dose of nicotine more palatable and so allow higher doses of more concentrated nicotine to be consumed. In the EU the highest permissible level of nicotine is 20mg/ml. Whereas other Logic e-liquids have a choice of nicotine level (12 or 18 mg), Intense capsules all contain 18mg. On the product pages of JTI’s UK website, the Intense range is described as a “smoother, satisfying and enhanced experience”, and “perfect for experienced vapers”.[17]

In some of JTI’s markets, concentrations of 34 and 58/59 mg/ml are on sale. [1]

“Plug and Play” For “Health Benefits”

In March 2019, JTI announced a partnership with US company Plug and Play, a technology ‘incubator’, to develop a programme called “Vapetech”. JTI said it was “bringing together innovators and data experts to develop technology that improves the experience and health benefits of vaping.”[20] In its 2018 annual report JTI stated that the outcomes of this partnership would benefit the growth of both Logic and Ploom.[15] At the time of writing it was not clear what products were being developed. Other tobacco companies, including Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and JUUL Labs have produced devices which use ‘lifestyle’ apps to gather user data.

Harm Reduction Claims

JTI refers to both its e-cigarettes and HTPs as “Reduced Risk Products” (RRPs), sometimes preceded by the word “potentially”.[21][22][15] Similar terms are used by British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI).

JTI describes its “RRPs” as offering consumers a choice:

“Consumers all over the world vary in their needs, demands and desires, and where one individual might find conventional products meet those requirements, a growing number are looking to the benefits of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). This is usually due to the products’ potential for harm reduction and/or an experience that is more tailored to their lifestyle or situation.”[22]

These products form part of JTI’s stated strategy for “Building a Brighter Future”.[21][22] In 2019, it claimed to have spent US$1 billion in five years on “design, development and scientific research” into RRPs (including HTPs).[23] Its 2018 annual report specified a total investment of 200 billion yen [US$1.85 billion] in RRPs by 2020.[15]


Key Markets

Before 2016, key markets for JTI’s e-cigarettes were the UK and US.[24] After E-Lites products were rebranded as Logic in 2016, the company started to expand sales globally.[24][15] In 2018, JTI was the first multinational tobacco company to market an e-cigarette in Switzerland after the Swiss courts lifted a ban on sales.[25]

The Logic Compact product variation appears to be key to the company’s strategy, with launches early 2019 in Ireland, Romania, Russia, Canada, and mainland Europe, including Switzerland.[1][26] The device launched in Kuwait in April, JTI’s first launch in the Middle East. Tobacco Asia quoted Roger Hambleton, JTI’s RRP brand manager in the Middle East, saying that “there has emerged a genuine desire for RRPs [in Kuwait] and locals hold a strong belief in the potential health benefits of vaping”.[1]

In September 2019, JTI launched Compact in New Zealand.[1] Tobacco companies in New Zealand, notably E-Cigarettes: British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, were reported to be aggressively marketing their products (including HTPs) at that time, in anticipation of possible regulation being introduced by the New Zealand government.[27]

As of November 2019, the most recent market launch was in Portugal.[28]

Advertising Strategy

Image 2. JTI's launch of the Logic Compact in a pop-up ‘vaping lounge’, September 2018[29]

As e-cigarette advertising has become more restricted, in Europe and elsewhere, tobacco companies have been forced to become more creative. JTI, like other companies, is increasingly using social media and influencers to promote its products.[30][31][32]

The “Vapartment”

Promotion around the launch of Compact, in September 2018, included a collaboration with UK fashion designer Pearl Lowe, who produced a case for the device. This was only available “as part of an online inclusive starter pack”.[33] Lowe attended a launch party in a ‘pop-up’ vaping lounge, “the Vapartment” in a in London associated with art and design, sustainability and healthy living (see image 2). It was held at the start of London Fashion Week, and the first 50 visitors were offered a free Logic Compact if they provided their e-mail address. They could also try out the device in what was promoted as “the perfect alternate office environment”.[29] The creative company who designed the event said that the media launch was followed by “3 days of consumer engagement and sampling, featuring DJ’s and influencers”.[34] For more background information on e-cigarette promotion and marketing, go to E-cigarettes: Marketing and E-cigarettes: Marketing Rules.

Lobbying Regulators For Fewer Restrictions

The intended roll out of Logic products in the Middle East and Asia was restricted by existing regulation on e-cigarettes and an increasing number of outright bans, including in Japan.[35] Denis Fichot, JTI’s RRPs Corporate Affairs Director, stated the company’s position on regulation to Tobacco Asia in September 2019:

“We advocate for open and regulated markets, because adult consumers should have the opportunity to opt for alternatives to [conventional] smoking”.[1]

He went on to say that a “a proportionate and evidence-based legislative framework” could help protect consumers and create a “level playing field for competition”.[1]

Direct Lobbying

In March 2019, JTI gave a written submission to a consultation on the review of tobacco control legislation in Australia. It urged the government to adopt different regulations for e-cigarettes, and other RRPs, offering to “provide information on how tobacco control legislation could be improved in Australia to benefit public health” and cited Better Regulation principles.[36] For more examples of how tobacco companies have used ‘Better Regulation’ arguments against tobacco control measures see EU Better Regulation.

JTI had submitted a response to a previous enquiry in Australia in 2017, using the ‘consumer choice’ argument: “JTI believes in the freedom of adults to choose whether they wish to use electronic cigarettes and that no one should use them unless he or she understands the risks associated with doing so.”[37] As of September 2019, a full ban on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in Australia remained in place.[35]

Indirect Lobbying

JTI is a member of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) and has a position on the board.[38] UKVIA lobbied against e-cigarette regulation at the 8th WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP 8) in 2018. For more information see UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).

On 14 October 2019, JTI sponsored a fringe event at the Scottish National Party conference. The event was titled “Where Next for Vaping In Scotland” and was chaired by John Lee from the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, with speakers listed as Scottish Members of Parliament (MSPs) Emma Harper (convener of the Health and Sport Committee) and John Mason (member of the Cross Party Group on Independent Convenience Stores) and Andy Morrison from the New Nicotine Alliance.[39]

Market Share and Global Expansion Plans

In 2018, JTI’s e-cigarettes accounted for 75% of the value of the company’s trade in RRPs (its HTPs having the smaller share).[15][15] According to market research company Euromonitor International, JTI had a 2.8% share of the global e-cigarette market, down from 4.1% in 2014.[24] Over the same period the market had doubled in value from US$6.8 billion to over US$15.6 billion.[40]


Like the other international tobacco companies, JTI lost market share in the US to JUUL Labs between 2015 and 2018 (from 8.5% to 3.2%, although the value of the US market also more than doubled).[24][40] Between 2016 and 2018, JTI maintained its share in the UK (around 6.5%) and increased it in Russia and Ireland, from 1.5% and 3% respectively to around 10% in each.[24]

Sales Strategy

By the end of 2018, JTI was selling its products in 11 countries.[15] In its 2018 annual report it announced its intention to expand sales of the Compact device to a further 13 countries in 2019, “prioritizing the markets that matter the most”.[15] ref name=In November 2019, with the launch of Compact in Portugal, it had reached 20 countries.[28]

JTI’s approach in the UK included specialist retail trade websites targeted specifically at shop owners and “Logic Champions” to help them maximise their sales. JTI’s Head of Reduced Risk Products, Nick Geens, advised retailers that e-cigarette products should be displayed next to tobacco products: “Once stores expand their vaping range …it is best to move to a category solution where vaping and tobacco products are displayed in the same gantry to ensure quick service time and repeat custom.”[41]

Tobacco Remains Central

By the end of 2018, 75% of JTI’s RRP retail value came from Logic e-cigarettes, with 25% from its HTP, Ploom.[15] However traditional tobacco products remain central to JTI’s business. A 2019 presentation to investors made clear that the company’s strategy aimed to deliver returns “by strengthening conventional tobacco products, the main driver of our profit growth”.[42]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 T. Schmid, Logic turns compact, Tobacco Asia, 20 September 2019, accessed September 2019
  2. Japan Tobacco International, JTI acquires leading e-cigarette brand E-Lites, JTI press release, undated, accessed September 2019
  3. D. Robinson, Japan Tobacco joins rivals in e-cigarette market with E-lites buy. Financial Times, 11 June 2014
  4. Japan Tobacco Inc., Annual Report FY2014, accessed September 2019
  5. E-lites becomes the first brand to conquer the big four, SourceWire News Distribution, 6 March 2014, accessed June 2014
  6. Japan Tobacco Inc., JT acquires Logic, the leading independent US e-cigarette company, JT press release, 30 April 2015, accessed September 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 Japan Tobacco Inc., Annual Report FY2016, accessed September 2019
  8. Japan Tobacco International, Logic Vapes, website, undated, accessed October 2019
  9. Japan Tobacco International, Terms and Conditions, Logic UK website, undated, accessed October 2019
  10. Archy D, What happened to e-lites, e-cigreviews.org.uk, January 2019, accessed September 2019
  11. Japan Tobacco International, A Curv Makes the Difference, JTI press release, 17 August 2015, accessed September 2019
  12. Japan Tobacco Inc. About Power, Logic website, undated, accessed September 2019
  13. JTI updates Logic PRO UK’s No.1 capsule vaping device, Grocery Trader, 28 September 2019, accessed September 2019
  14. M. Dennis, Ad campaign to break for logic liquid vaping range, Talking Retail, 22 December 2016, accessed September 2019
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 Japan Tobacco Inc., Annual Report FY2018, accessed September 2019
  16. Japan Tobacco International, Compact in size, big on flavour, Logic Vapes press release, September 2018, accessed October 2019
  17. 17.0 17.1 Japan Tobacco International, New Compact Intense. Nicotine Salts, Logic Vapes UK website, undated, accessed September 2019
  18. Japan Tobacco International, E-liquid, Logic Vapes UK website, undated, accessed September 2019
  19. Centre for Media and Democracy,Freebase Nicotine, Sourcewatch, 27 September 2017, accessed July 2019
  20. Japan Tobacco International, JTI partners with Plug and Play to launch Vapetech incubator, JTI press release, 7 March 2019, accessed September 2019
  21. 21.0 21.1 Japan Tobacco International, Building a Brighter Future, JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Japan Tobacco International, Our reduced-risk products – our vaping products, JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019
  23. Japan Tobacco International, [Reduced-risk products – How do they fit in the future of JTI], JTI website, undated, accessed September 2019
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Euromonitor International, Vapour Products: World, 2013-2018, accessed September 2019
  25. Euromonitor International, Japan Tobacco Inc Global Company Profile, 23 August 2018
  26. Japan Tobacco International, Logic Compact Launch, JTI press release, April 2019, accessed October 2019
  27. M. Theunissen, Vaping ads rocket ahead of proposed regulation, RNZ, 28 August 2019, accessed September 2019
  28. 28.0 28.1 TPN/Lusa, Japan Tobacco to enter Portuguese Market, The Portugal News, 1 November 2019, accessed November 2019
  29. 29.0 29.1 The Vapartment, The List, undated, accessed September 2019
  30. M. Nedelman, R. Selig, A. Azad, #Juul: How social media hyped nicotine for a new generation, CNN, 19 December 2019, accessed October 2019
  31. Action on Smoking and Health, BAT under investigation by the ASA for promoting e-cigs to young people on social media, ASH blog, 29 April 2019, accessed August 2019
  32. J. Hoek, B. Freeman, BAT(NZ) draws on cigarette marketing tactics to launch Vype in New Zealand, Tobacco Control: Industry Watch, 17 July 2019
  33. Japan Tobacco International, Compact in size, big on flavour], Logic Vapes press release, September 2018, accessed September 2019
  34. Logic vapes – Vapartment, Hopper website, undated, accessed September 2019
  35. 35.0 35.1 Global Centre for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC), E-cigarette ban & regulation: Global Status as of June 2019, 26 June 2019, accessed September 2019
  36. Japan Tobacco International, Submission to the Consultation on the Review of Tobacco Control Legislation in Australia, 15 March 2019, accessed September 2019
  37. Japan Tobacco International, JTI’s response to the Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia, 5 July 2017, accessed September 2019
  38. UK Vaping Industry Association, Who We Are, UKVIA website archived page, undated, accessed March 2019
  39. Dodds Events (@DodsEvents), Tweet: “At #SNP Conference…Join us in Meeting Room 3 to discuss Where Next for Vaping in Scotland”?, Twitter, 15 October 2019 12:35
  40. 40.0 40.1 Euromonitor International: UK e-cigarette market value, 2014-2018, accessed September 2019
  41. F. Stein, Knowledge key to vaping growth, Scottish Local Retailer, 11 January 2019, accessed September 2019
  42. Japan Tobacco Inc., JT Group, 2019 Second-Quarter results, CFP Presentation, 1 August 2019, accessed September 2019