Alternative tobacco and nicotine products in South Korea

Heated tobacco consumables are considered tobacco products in South Korea, so they are essentially regulated in the same way as traditional cigarettes, though with slight differences. Find out here all aspects related to the market and regulatory situation of nicotine and alternative-tobacco products for this region.

South Korea: introduction to the heated tobacco market

The heated tobacco market is much less fragmented than the e-cigarette market and almost all products are provided by a small number of large tobacco-owned brands. Although big tobacco companies are the front-runners and currently produce all tobacco-based consumables, since the category has been successful in some markets there is – and will be – competition from smaller companies who try to benefit from the success and the tobacco sticks market penetration achieved by the big companies, and enter into the heated tobacco space with new competing products.

Due to the success of heated tobacco products in Japan and South Korea – the biggest heated tobacco markets in the world – there are many compatible products available.

Heated tobacco consumables are considered in South Korea as tobacco products, regulated in essentially the same way as traditional cigarettes. Different legal regimes are applicable to electronic heating devices and consumables. As the latter contains tobacco leaf, it is considered a cigarette under the Tobacco Business Act and the National Health Promotion Act, while the device is not encompassed by these acts but is subject to electronic equipment regulation. This constitutes the latest interpretation of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF).