Japan Tobacco Inc. will start selling its vaping product Ploom Tech in flagship stores in Japan tomorrow to directly compete with rival Philip Morris International Inc (PM) - Get Report in smokeless tobacco, Reuters reported.
The Ploom Tech device is designed to compete with Philip Morris' IQOS product. While the IQOS directly heats tobacco leaves, Ploom Tech releases vapor that goes through a capsule packed with tobacco leaves.
Japan Tobacco test-launched Ploom Tech last year and had to suspend sales when demand overcame supply. The company, which is one-third state owned, plans to sell Ploom Tech nationwide in the first half of 2018.
Japan has become a hotspot for vaping because e-cigarettes using nicotine-laced liquid aren't allowed in the country. Japan Tobacco said it plans to expand the number of smoke-free restaurants and public places that allow its vaping product.
Philip Morris stock was slightly up in early morning trading.
What's Hot On TheStreet
The stock market may be overvalued: Now may be the time to pay extra attention to red-hot tech stocks such as Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Facebook (FB) - Get Report . As TheStreet first reported Tuesday afternoon, asset valuations are somewhat "rich" by standard metrics, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in London during a conversation about economic issues with British Academy President Lord Nicholas Stern. Yellen's comments on equity valuation and bank strength closely mirrored Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's from an IMF event held earlier in the day.
The iPhone has changed how you make money: TheStreet's Scott Gamm is out with a piece that will really get you thinking. Apple's iPhone will turn 10 years old on Thursday. The device not only turned Apple into one of the world's most valuable companies, helping to boost its stock price more than 700%, it also changed the way we invest and trade stocks Gamm points out.
In fact, the original iPhone -- and the current versions -- have an internal stocks app, allowing users to check the broader market indexes and individual stock prices. Having this in your pocket was a big deal 10 years ago.
"I think it's actually made the life for a typical investor much easier," Angelo Zino, an analyst with CFRA Research, told TheStreet. "I think they've been able to tap news flows much quicker."
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