The Vaping Post: Now in 2017, what retained your attention in 2016?

Jean-François Etter: I believe that the international launch of Philip Morris’ HNB cigarette, iQOS, is the sign of a deep change in the tobacco products market. iQOS has been very successful in Japan where it represents 5% of the sales of tobacco products after a doubling of the value within only one year.

“(…) it has been a shock for the professional sector” -J.-F. Etter
In the USA, when Totally Wicked announced they closed their shops after the new FDA regulation, it has been a shock for the professional sector. It is not excluded that the tobacco industry takes a place in the new technology markets at the expense of the e-cigarette, in its current form, and at the expense of its independent manufacturers, and retailers.


From a public health point of view, those changes are not necessarily negative provided that the tobacco industry is able, through their expertise and thanks to their distribution network, to place new reduced risk products in replacement of combustible cigarettes. A negative aspect would however arise if the leadership of Big Tobacco companies on the vaping sector stifled innovation and reduced the offer in distribution networks.

The Vaping Post: What are your expectations for the year 2017?

“I hope the WHO adopt another position on new vaporization technologies” -J.-F. Etter
Jean-François Etter: I hope the WHO adopt another position on new vaporization technologies and towards harm reduction, in general. The WHO should take the leadership, adopt a science-based approach, be more courageous and not align their position on that of Parties the most reluctant to new technologies.


I also hope that a move will operate at the European level to modify the EU TPD. Finally, I expect launch of new products and new technologies to appeal more smokers.