British American Tobacco said demand for its Glo tobacco heating device overwhelmed supply in its Japan test marketing, as global cigarette giants shift focus to the new product category amid a declining smoking population.

The "heat but not burn" tobacco is rapidly gaining popularity in Japan. Philip Morris International said earlier this month that it has more than doubled the supply of its IQOS tobacco device but it was not enough to cover the demand.

BAT and Philip Morris were the first of the big tobacco firms to invest in cigarette alternatives a few years back, as growing health consciousness reduces traditional smoking.