The Tobacco Institute of Japan (TIOJ) will be implementing rules for collecting used heated tobacco devices that use lithium-ion batteries as multiple cases of fire believed to be caused by these tobacco cartridges after they are discarded as non-combustible trash have been reported.
Heat-not-burn products have been on sale in Japan for about five years, with over 10 million units having since been sold overall in the country.
Local governments are required to collect lithium-ion battery-powered products including smartphones and portable video game consoles and calls for electronics manufacturers to collect these products. However, HNB cartridges are not subject to either of the laws. The lack of clear rules regarding the collection of these products led to many local bodies refusing to accept them as trash. HNB users have been complaining to the tobacco companies that they have nowhere to discard their heated tobacco products.
A pilot program was launched by Japan Tobacco Inc. this May to collect its used HNB tobacco products at its shops in Tokyo. The new rules will be based on JT’s system and are expected to be implemented nationwide by next year at the soonest.