May 7, 2019 / 10:06 AM / 20 days ago

U.S. vaping firm Juul plans multiple Asia launches in 2019

DUBLIN, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. electronic cigarette company Juul Labs Inc plans to launch in multiple Asian locations in 2019 and the Middle East and Africa by 2021 as part of its international expansion, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

Juul, which sold a 35 percent stake to Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc in December for $12.8 billion, expects international sales to match those in the United States, where it is the market leader, by around 2023, EMEA President Grant Winterton said in an interview.

But the company is meeting resistance in the European Union over nicotine levels in its products.

"At the moment I would say there is quite a lot of resistance" to lobbying for the European Union to increase the maximum nicotine level from 20 milligrams per millilitre of liquid, around of a third of the level in the United States, Winterton said. (Reporting by Conor Humphries, editing by Louise Heavens)

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