Patterns of use behaviors in a sample of Japanese heat-not-burn tobacco product (IQOS) users
Innovative tobacco products are being developed with the potential to advance tobacco harm reduction efforts and reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases. Their potential beneficial public health impact depends upon smokers’ acceptance to switch to these products instead of continuing to smoke cigarettes. Thus, post-market monitoring is important to evaluate actual use.
This online survey describes patterns of use behaviors in Japanese current users of a novel heat-not-burn tobacco product (commercialized under the brand names “IQOS” and “HeatSticks”). It was conducted in 2016-2017 with 2,000 participants (81.6 % males; average age 38.5 years; 56.8 % had completed higher education). 74.8 % [95 %CI 72.7-76.7 %] started using IQOS within the 12 months prior to the survey and 98 % [97.2-98.6 %] were previously using other tobacco products. Of those who were still smoking cigarettes, 52.1 % [49.1-55.1 %] quit smoking within the 12 months prior to the survey and had switched to IQOS.
63.4 % [61.2-65.6 %] reported exclusive IQOS use, 20.6 % [18.7-22.5 %] reported dual-use with cigarettes, and 7.3 % [6.1-8.6 %] reported poly-use with cigarettes. Average daily total consumption of tobacco products (HeatSticks and cigarettes) was 19.1 [18.6-19.6] in the whole sample and 24.8 [23.5-26.1] for dual IQOS and cigarettes users. Average daily consumption of HeatSticks was 16.8 [16.3-17.3] for exclusive users, 13.8 [12.9-14.6] for dual IQOS and cigarette users, and 12.8 [11.3-14.2] for poly-users.
Average consumption of cigarettes per day was 11.0 [10.1-12.0] for dual cigarettes and IQOS users, and 12.8 [11.1-14.5] for poly-users. In conclusion, these findings show that majority of IQOS consumers in this sample consisted of former smokers who switched to exclusive IQOS use. IQOS users who continued to smoke reported a higher total consumption of tobacco products, however, their average daily consumption of 11 cigarettes was lower compared to a national average daily consumption of 15.5 cigarettes in Japanese smokers (2015 Japanese National Health and Nutrition Survey).