The BAT Glo Hyper Plus is the latest release from British American Tobacco (BAT). As of writing, it is not available in the UK. However, it has been launched amidst much fanfare here in Spain, where it retails at just under ten euros (about eight pounds and fifty pence). The tobacco sticks (more about which later) retail at a price of four euros for twenty.
Why the fuss?
British American Tobacco (BAT) will be going up against Philip Morris (PMI) and their formidable IQOS unit and HEETS tobacco sticks. A direct comparison between the two products is of limited value though since they really are quite different products which bear only one one similarity – they are both heat not burn tobacco products. Each contain a flavouring agent and PG to produce an aerosol vapour. In all other respects they are a fundamentally different products.
I am pretty sure that you all know what a box looks like, so I will skip that and move onto the contents. The glo heating unit is a well constructed piece of kit. It comes in a variety of seven colours and is equipped with a Li-ion (2900mAh) battery. Also included is a charging unit, a USB type C cable a cleaning brush and a set of instructions.
Operation and daily use
The heating unit takes about 20 minutes to charge from a cold start. The BAT Glo Hyper Plus has a single button come LED circular display and is fully charged when the lighting unit is fully illuminated. You then simply disconnect the USB cable from the unit, insert a glo stick and press the button. If you hold down the button you will feel the unit vibrate twice. The LED circular display then gradually changes so that after 20 seconds the unit vibrates, which indicates that the glo stick has reached its cooking temperature and you are good to go.
One vibration versus two
A single vibration is triggered by just holding the button down until you feel one vibration. You then release the button and the unit will heat the tobacco in the glo stick to 240°C. If you continue to hold the button down the unit will vibrate twice and heat the tobacco in the glo stick to 260°C. thus intensifying the flavour.
At 240°C a single glo stick will produce between 20/25 puffs and will remain active for about three minutes. At 260°C a single glo stick will produce between 15/20 puffs and will remain active for about two and half minutes. Whatever, you will feel a single vibration to give you a 20 second warning that that the heating will cease.
Personally, I found that 240°C produced a good nicotine wallop using all flavours of glo stick. In fact, the Terracotta flavour (see below) was good enough to knock me off my feet first thing in the morning, which combined with a strong cup of Spanish coffee produced a profound combination of nicotine relaxation and caffeine jolt. I have yet to read all of the papers produced by BAT on levels of nicotine delivered, but my guess is that it is a little more than the amount in a red top cowboy
HEETS AND glohyper – A parting of the ways
Firstly, there is no need to recharge the BAT Glo Hyper Plus between vapes. The battery is sufficient to last all day on a single charge. In fact, on one occasion, I managed to get through thirty glo sticks on a single charge.
Secondly, the vaping experience is not limited to 10-12 puffs with the glo. My average was between 15 to 20 puffs with the glo.
Thirdly, you can inhale a glo stick in the same way that you might inhale an e-cig (straight into your lungs), something you cannot do with HEETS.
WTF are neo sticks?
Tobacco neo sticks, which are what BAT refers to as its tobacco sticks come in packs of 20 and there are six different flavours, five of which are equipped with click technology allowing for an intensification of flavour. The sticks come in the following flavours and intensities;
- Terracotta tobacco. Level of Intensity 4/5 Taste Intensity 3/5. Tobacco Flavour.
- Arctic Click. Level of Intensity 3/5 Taste Intensity 4/5. Double Menthol Flavour.
- Blue Click. Level of Intensity 4/5 Taste Intensity 3/5. Fresh Menthol Flavour.
- Tropic Click. Level of Intensity 3/5 Taste Intensity 4/5. Tropical Flavour. Red Click. Level of Intensity 3/5 Taste Intensity 3/5. Red Fruits Flavour.
- Yellow Blue Mix. Level of Intensity 4/5 Taste Intensity 4/5. Flavour levels (adjustable by click) 4/5 Lime and Menthol Flavour.
The levels of intensity are (to my taste) a reference to the amount of nicotine contained in each stick. The taste intensity can be varied by clicking (and bursting) a a small capsule of liquid at the top of each glo stick.
It can only be a matter of time before BAT starts to market this BAT Glo Hyper Plus in the UK. (Let’s hope so! – Ed.) When that happens, I figure that the glo will do very well. This has to do with price and ease of use. There are a few other things worth mentioning. The BAT product produces no discernible odour, whilst heating or afterwards. The glo sticks more resemble a normal cigarette than HEETS, the vape time is longer and they are less fiddly.