The new iQOS heat stick branded "Heets".

A paper by Frost & Sullivan in collaboration with tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) titled, “Tobacco Harm Reduction and Novel Nicotine and Tobacco Products: Evidence from the Japanese Market,” has found that the entry of HTPs has led to a drop of 34% in cigarettes sales.

“Although there is mixed evidence, data from the 2019 National Health Survey indicates that 76% of consumers who use HTPs do so exclusively.”
“The commercial availability of HTPs in Japan is associated with a significant drop in conventional cigarette sales, well ahead of the previous rate of decline. Moreover, even after HTPs became available, sales of all tobacco products (HTPs and conventional cigarettes) continued to fall. Although there is mixed evidence, data from the 2019 National Health Survey indicates that 76% of consumers who use HTPs do so exclusively. Only 24% of HTP users maintain dual-use,” said Mark Dougan, Consulting Director, Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan.

“The Japanese government is differentiating HTPs from conventional cigarettes in regulations such as taxation, health warnings and indoor use restrictions, with HTPs generally receiving less-stringent regulatory settings than conventional cigarettes,” he added.

Five-fold decline in cigarette sales since 2016

Similarly, a study titled, “What Is Accounting for the Rapid Decline in Cigarette Sales in Japan?,” published on May 20th in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, had indicated an accelerated five-fold decline in cigarette sales since 2016, corresponding to an increase in HTP sales.

Commenting on the study, renowned harm reduction advocate Prof. David Sweanor, had explained that while Japanese regulations precluded alternatives to combustible cigarettes, Japan has still managed to navigate tobacco harm reduction successfully.

“We have seen the most rapid decline in cigarette sales ever witnessed in a major market. A third of the cigarette market was gone in a remarkably short period of time, and this was accomplished with a non-coercive measure. People who smoke cigarettes were simply provided with a viable alternative.”

Japan’s Perceptions of Health Risks From Heated Tobacco vs Cigarettes

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