Intent to Use for a New Menthol HeatSticks Variant in Japan
* This author is not affiliated with PMI.
"Tobacco harm reduction” is a public health strategy intended to reduce the health burden of tobacco consumption by switching smokers from cigarettes (CC) to products which could potentially present reduced health risks compared to continued smoking, such as the Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Heating System (“THS”) currently commercialized in various markets under the IQOS brand name, whilst not generating initiation or relapse among never or former smokers. This market research study reports the levels of Intent to Use (positive Intention to Try and positive Intention to Use) among 1,953 adult Japanese participants (aged 21+ years) who were eligible and chose to participate in the study. The participants were shown one of three different THS and HeatSticks (the specially designed tobacco sticks to be used with THS) concepts (Concepts). Two of these three Concepts were presenting an already commercially available HeatSticks Variant (one regular and one menthol taste). The third Concept presented a new menthol HeatSticks variant. All three Concepts were associated with similar patterns of results. Considering the results in the context of market share of the HeatSticks variants (7% of total estimated sales of CC and HeatSticks, according to PMI estimates, January 2017), adult smokers, irrespective of the type of smoked CC, indicated a substantial positive Intention to Try (ranging between 15% and 32%) and positive Intention to Use (ranging between 10% and 25%). Conversely, adult non-smokers showed very low levels of positive Intention to Try (ranging between 0% and 2%) and positive Intention to Use (ranging between 0% and 1%). These patterns of intended use for the three THS and HeatSticks concepts are consistent with the objectives on tobacco harm reduction.