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Fewer fire accidents amid rising sales of HNB tobacco: data

June 29, 2018 - 15:16 By Ahn Sang-yool
The number of fire accidents caused by discarded cigarettes in May 2018 decreased on-year possibly due to the growing adoption of heat-not-burn cigarettes.

The National Fire Agency cited the growing popularity of heat-not-burn cigarettes as one of the reasons behind the fall. Data from the agency showed that fire accidents caused by discarded cigarettes dropped from 6,861 in May 2017 to 5,846 in May this year, marking a 14.8 percent drop. 


“Accidents occur when fires over a certain temperature spread to inflammable materials,” said an official from the Korea Fire Safety Institute, adding that the most common ignition sources are cigarette butts. “The replacement of cigarettes by HNB products seems to have played a role in reducing the number.”

Conventional cigarettes burn at temperatures over 600 degrees Celsius in general, while heat-not-burn products are heated around 250 C without combustion.

The market share for HNB sticks in the tobacco industry surged to 8.6 percent in February 2018 from 3 percent in July 2017, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Since the release of HNB devices, a total of 163 million packs of HNB cigarettes have been sold in 11 months.

By Ahn Sang-yool (