Japan: What’s happened now adult smokers are free to make better choices?

17 Dec 2019 · 3 min read

Cigarette sales have declined significantly since the introduction of our smoke-free alternative

Japan unsmoke your mind case study
  • The decline in cigarette sales increased five-fold following the introduction of our smoke-free product, according to a study for the American Cancer Society.

  • During the same period, combined sales of all tobacco products remained stable

Japan is an example of the remarkable impact introducing smoke-free alternatives to continued smoking could have when it comes to ending cigarettes. 

And for that, there seem to be a number of factors in play: 

  • There are smoke-free products available.

  • Adult smokers know about them.

  • They have accurate and non-misleading information about the products.

  • These products are acceptable to them.

Independent research, significant results

In June 2019, a study conducted by researchers working for the American Cancer Society showed a significant decline in cigarette sales following the introduction of our heated tobacco product in 2015.

According to the study, cigarette sales had been declining by around 1.8% per year prior to the introduction, but this increased to 9.5% per year following the introduction. 

The authors of the study concluded it was the introduction of our heated tobacco product which “likely reduced cigarette sales in Japan”. 

There was a very low uptake of our smoke-free product among never-smokers. We know this because we carried out repeated cross-sectional studies with the adult general population in Japan and with users of our smoke-free product. 


Smoke-free revolution Japan

Our data also confirms that our smoke-free product is reaching the intended audience – which is adult smokers – and is of very limited interest to adults who have never used nicotine products before, or adults who had already completely stopped using nicotine products.

Of course, the best thing a smoker can do is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether, but the reality is that many do not. The impact a smoke-free alternative can have on cigarette sales in a market such as this demonstrates the demand for these products as a viable option for those smokers who would otherwise continue smoking. 

This is a real example of the opportunity that exists for public health: smoke-free products as an additional asset and complement to measures aimed at preventing initiation and encouraging cessation. That’s in everyone’s interests.