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Asian consumers push for right to use smoking alternatives

Debate over regulations heats up as some claim devices are less hazardous

HONG KONG -- Joe Lo, 37, has been using an electronic cigarette alternative known as IQOS instead of traditional cigarettes for a year. It heats tobacco but only gives off some smoke-like vapor. The insurance salesman in Hong Kong, who smoked for 14 years, no longer worries about his four-year-old son rebuffing his hugs saying "No, Daddy, you're so smelly!"

But there is one problem: He depends on a friend who travels frequently on business to Japan to get tobacco sticks for his IQOS, because they are not available in Hong Kong.

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