The market share of heat-not-burn (HNB) cigarettes in South Korea has increased more than five-fold over the past two years, according to Yonhap News.
Sales of HNB cigarettes stood at 92 million packs in the first quarter of this year, up 34 percent from a year earlier. The market share of those cigarettes, including Phillip Morris’ IQOS and KT&G Corp.’s Lil, soared to 11.8 percent as of the end of March, up from 2.2 percent two years ago.
The Health Ministry attributed the soaring market share of HNB cigarettes to aggressive marketing and publicity activities, which claim they are less harmful than traditional tobacco. In a bid to curb their rising sales, the ministry said it will move to revise a related law next year, which would require e-cigarette packs and devices carry warning images and texts.