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KT&G launches HNB e-cigarette in Russia with PMI

lil Solid and Fiit Regular, Fiit Viola and Fiit Crisp (KT&G)
lil Solid and Fiit Regular, Fiit Viola and Fiit Crisp (KT&G)

South Korean tobacco maker KT&G said Tuesday it has launched lil Solid, its heat-not-burn e-cigarette, and three Fiit tobacco sticks, in Russia together with Philip Morris International.

It is the first time for the Korean company to enter an overseas market with its e-cigarette product.

KT&G and PMI established a strategic alliance in January, in which KT&G distributes its HNB e-cigarettes to overseas markets using PMI’s distribution networks for the first three years. The rare partnership in the tobacco industry came as the two shared the goal of promoting “smoke-free” cigarettes.

KT&G said it will introduce three colors for lil Solid -- dark navy, white and blue -- and three cigarette sticks, Fiit Regular, Fiit Viola and Fiit Crisp for Russian customers.

The product will be promoted as “lil introduced by Iqos,” KT&G said. Iqos is PMI’s tobacco heating device brand.

“From the partnership between KT&G and PMI, we forecast the global e-cigarette market to expand, and lil will offer wider range of choice for adult smokers,” said KT&G President Baek Bok-in said in the press release.

Introduced in the domestic market in 2017, the lil brand was the best-selling e-cigarette device here last year, and in the first half of this year, KT&G said. As of the end of July, lil sold over 2.4 million units.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)  
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