24 February 2021
 

IQOS Use Prevalence and History of Tobacco Product Use: Findings from Surveys in Japan, Italy, and Germany

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Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. My name is Karina Fischer. I'm the Manager and Scientist on the Behavior and Regulatory Research Team of Philip Morris International, and today I will present our most recent data on IQOS (our Tobacco Heating System, THS) Use Prevalence and History of Tobacco Product Use in Japan, Italy and Germany. 

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With the increasing availability of products called heated tobacco products that do not burn tobacco but only heat it and therefore has the potential to present less risk of harm, it is important to assess the impact of this new tobacco product category at a population level. As part of the scientific assessment of our heated tobacco products, we have conducted repeated cross-sectional surveys in several countries, including Japan, Italy, and Germany, to monitor the use prevalence of our heated tobacco product, commercialized under the brand name IQOS, after the product was launched in these three countries. In all three countries, we conducted surveys with probability sampling representative of the general adult population, to estimate use prevalence of THS and other tobacco products. Moreover, because of the rather low THS use prevalence in the three countries, in parallel, we conducted surveys among THS users with random samples from our country associated THS owner databases for complementary insights into a sizeable number of adult THS users. These THS user samples were used to estimate indicators of THS use behavior and history of tobacco product use. 

Both the general adult population and THS user samples were large enough to provide robust estimates. Over time, the prevalence of THS use in the general adult population sample has increased. In Japan between 2017 and 2019, from 1.8 to 3.3%, in Italy, between 2018 and 2019, from 0.7 to 1.1%, and in Germany between 2018 and 2019 from 0.2 to 0.3%. More specifically, while in Japan, the prevalence of THS use nearly doubled over the past three years, in Italy and Germany, THS use prevalence only moderately increased over the past two years. 

Among tobacco product users of the general adult population samples in recent years, THS has established itself as a viable alternative to smoking cigarettes. In Japan, the uptake of THS increased sizeably from 9.6 to 18.4%. In Italy and Germany, THS uptake also increased, however, on much lower levels than in Japan. In Italy, from 2.7 to 4.1%, and in Germany, from 0.8 to 1.2%. 

Furthermore, the surveys in the THS user samples revealed that in 2019, the majority of THS users in Japan, Italy, and Germany had a history of tobacco product use before they started to use THS of more than 99%. This means that tobacco product use initiation with THS was very low, with only 0.6% in Japan, 0.5% in Italy, and 0.2% in Germany. In Japan, the prevalence of THS use in 2019 was high enough to estimate indicators of tobacco product use initiation also on a population level. The estimate for history of tobacco product use before start of using THS in the Japanese general adult population sample was 99.5%. This was very similar to the estimate of 99.4% we observed in the Japanese THS user sample. 

Based on our most recent study data from Japan, Italy, and Germany, and in line with data from independent sources, we can conclude that THS is a viable alternative to continued cigarette smoking, with varying extents of THS use prevalence. Moreover, in all three countries, virtually all THS users had a history of tobacco product use before they started to use THS, indicating very low tobacco product use initiation with THS. Together, this means that THS use is in line with harm reduction principles. Finally, we will continue to conduct post-market studies as part of Philip Morris International’s overall scientific assessment program for our smoke-free products. 

Thank you for your time and your attention and have a nice remaining day.

Important: This presentation is for the purpose of publishing and disseminating scientific information about Philip Morris International’s efforts to develop and assess products that have the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm associated with tobacco use. This presentation is for audiences of scientists, public health and regulatory communities, and other stakeholders with an interest in tobacco policy. The purpose is not advertising or marketing. It is not intended for use by consumers. 

Nothing in this presentation should be construed as making any representation, express or implied, that the FDA has approved or has otherwise endorsed IQOS.

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