18C.1 The heated tobacco product market

Last updated: March 2018         

Suggested citation: Greenhalgh, EM. 18C. Heated tobacco (‘heat-not-burn’) products. In Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2018. Available from: http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-18-harm-reduction/indepth-18c-non-combustible-cigarettes/18c-1-the-heated-tobacco-product-market

Heated tobacco products were first introduced to the market by tobacco companies in the 1980s; however were initially commercially unsuccessful.1 Present-day heated tobacco products are also predominantly manufactured by tobacco companies, with Japan serving as the focal market to test the potential of such products as a cigarette alternative. Philip Morris International first introduced its iQOS (‘I Quit Ordinary Smoking’) brand in select Japanese cities in November 2014,2 and throughout 2016, manufacturers marketed several brands nationwide, including Japan Tobacco’s “Ploom TECH” device, Philip Morris International’s “iQOS”, and British American Tobacco’s “Glo” device.3 iQOS was also released in Italy and Switzerland in 2015.4 As of September 2017, heated tobacco products were marketed or planned to be marketed in close to forty countries, and it is likely that the products will continue to be introduced into new markets.1, 5  

In February 2016, Philip Morris executives stated that their heated tobacco product captured 2.4% of Tokyo’s market share for tobacco over a six-month period.4 A 2017 report by British American Tobacco indicated that iQOS and Glo had together captured 16.4% of the Japanese market, indicating a significant shift away from cigarettes.6 Euromonitor International estimates that the heat-not-burn sector will account for 45 per cent (US15.4 billion) of the tobacco alternatives industry by 2021.7  

An analysis of internet search queries in Japan found that Google searches for heat-not-burn products rose 1,426% between their first (2015) and second (2016) complete years on the market and an additional 100% between the products’ second (2016) and third years on the market (January–September 2017). There are now between 5.9 and 7.5 million heat-not-burn related Google searches in Japan each month.2  


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1. McNeill A, Brose L, Calder R, Bauld L, and Robson D, Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018. A report commissioned by Public Health England.  London: Public Health England; 2018. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/680964/Evidence_review_of_e-cigarettes_and_heated_tobacco_products_2018.pdf.

2. Caputi T, Leas E, Dredze M, Cohen J, and Ayers J. They're heating up: Internet search query trends reveal significant public interest in heat-not-burn tobacco products. PLoS ONE, 2017; 12(10):e0185735. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29020019

3. Du L and Huang G. Fight for new cigarette substitute heats up Japan: Quicktake q&a. Bloomberg Politics, 25 June 2017. Available from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-25/fight-for-new-cigarette-substitute-heats-up-japan-quicktake-q-a

4. Jenssen BP, Walley SC, and McGrath-Morrow SA. Heat-not-burn tobacco products: Tobacco industry claims no substitute for science. Pediatrics, 2018; 141(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29233936

5. World Health Organization. Heated tobacco products (HTPs) information sheet. 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/tobacco/publications/prod_regulation/heated-tobacco-products/en/

6. Azer V and Grey A, BATS and the 1 billion consumer opportunity. Cowen and Company, British American Tobacco p.l.c.; 2017.

7. Euromonitor International. Latest research: What the 2017 edition tobacco data is telling us. 2017. Available from: https://blog.euromonitor.com/2017/06/latest-research-tobacco-2017-edition-data.html 

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