Sociodemographic Characteristics of “Heat-not-Burn” Product Users Compared with Cigarette Smokers: First-Year Results of a Repeated Cross-Sectional Survey in Japan

      Langer, P.; Afolalu, E. F.; Prieto, L.; Skiada, D.; Dobrynina, M.; Sponsiello-Wang, Z.; Baker, G.; Weitkunat, R.; Lüdicke, F.

      Conference date
      Feb 22, 2019
      Conference name

      Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) 2019


      Background: A number of potential reduced-risk tobacco products (RRP) have emerged in the last 10 years as part of a tobacco harm reduction strategy to improve public health and lower the individual risk of smoking-related diseases. “RRPs” is the term that Philip Morris International (PMI) uses to refer to products that present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to these products versus continued smoking. PMI has a range of RRPs in various stages of development, scientific assessment, and commercialization. Because PMI’s RRPs do not burn tobacco, they produce far lower quantities of harmful and potentially harmful compounds than found in cigarette smoke. This report examines the sociodemographic characteristics of current users of a new potential RRP (PMI’s Tobacco Heating System, commercialized as IQOS®) in comparison with those of cigarette smokers.

      Methods: Here we present annual data of a repeated cross-sectional survey conducted in a representative sample of the Japanese adult general population. R

      esults: Out of the total sample of 4,878 participants, 86 (1.8% [95%CI: 1.4%–2.2%]) were using IQOS, and 787 (16.1% [15.1%–17.2%]) were smoking cigarettes. 81.4% [71.5%–89.0%] of IQOS users and 75.9% [72.7%–78.9%] of cigarette smokers were male. IQOS users were 39.9 years old [37.4–42.4] on average, compared with an average age of 48.7 years [47.6–49.8] in cigarette smokers. 36% in both samples were blue-collar employees [95%CI for IQOS: 25.9%–47.2%; for smokers: 32.6%–39.5%], 33.7% [23.8%–44.8%] of IQOS users and 15.6% [13.1%–18.4%] of smokers were clerical workers, and 1.2% [0.0% –6.4%] of IQOS users and 15.4% [12.9%–18.1%] of smokers were retired/unemployed. 43.0% [32.3%– 54.1%] of IQOS users and 34.7% [31.3%–38.1%] of smokers had completed higher education.

      Conclusions: Findings showed that IQOS users differed from cigarette smokers in certain sociodemographic characteristics; they were younger, a greater number had completed higher education, and a smaller number were unemployed/retired.