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.
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 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.