How did Japan cut down the number of smokers

The downward trend in cigarette sales in Japan, between 2011 and 2019, corresponds to the growth in sales of Heated Tobacco Products (HTP), according to an expert study conducted by American researchers from South Carolina and Canada.

The results of the latest research, published this month, indicate the connection between the drastic decline in cigarette sales in Japan since 2016, and the growth in sales of devices that heat and do not burn tobacco.

The authors of this study are Michael Cummings and George Nahas from Charleston Medical University in South Carolina and Professor David Swinnor from the University of Ottawa in Canada, who used data from the Tobacco Institute in Japan and reports from tobacco giant Philip Morris International.

According to them, the replacement of traditional cigarettes with devices that heat rather than burn tobacco has great potential to encourage a strategy to reduce the damage caused by long-term cigarette smoking. Japan is a unique initial area for the sale of the devices based on this innovative technology, and Philip Morris introduced IQOS to that market at the end of 2014, while devices from other manufacturers based on tobacco heating technology appeared two years later.

According to previous analyzes, Japan is currently the most developed market in terms of the number of users of non-combustible tobacco technology.

The results of this study show that between 2011 and last year overall sales of classic cigarettes fell by 38 percent. In particular, cigarette sales declined more slowly but steadily over the four years from 2011 to 2015.

In the last five years, the number of cigarette smokers has been falling drastically, while the number of users of devices that heat rather than burn tobacco is growing, which has lead researchers to a conclusion that the accelerated decline in cigarette sales in Japan since 2016 corresponds to the introduction and growth of HTP sales.

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