Foreign firm taps unregulated e-cigarette market

21 November 2016:

Multinational firm British American Tobacco (BAT) will start selling this week a branded e-cigarette product that would allow the cigarette firm to tap a growing yet unregulated and fragmented market in the country.

Roberto Eugenio, BAT Philippines corporate and regulatory affairs manager, told reporters last week that the Vape ePen, a “next-generation product” of the tobacco giant, would be made exclusively available in select outlets of the convenience store chain 7-Eleven nationwide starting Wednesday.

The exclusive arrangement with 7-Eleven would expand to 100 stores in the next six months, according to a statement. The Philippines was the first Asia-Pacific market where the Vape ePen was launched, following a handful of markets in Europe and South America.

BAT’s next-generation products include vapor and tobacco-heating products that were being pushed to serve as nicotine alternatives to smokers.

For Eugenio, BAT Philippines was “still focused on trying to grow our shares in the combustible business,” referring to traditional cigarette products.