Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) have created a substantial impact in foreign countries, such as Japan and South Korea, gaining a 17.4 percent share of the cigarette and heated-tobacco-stick market and contributing to declining cigarette sales in Japan, according to a report from the American Cancer Society.
HTPs are heat sticks or pellets derived from tobacco leaf pastes combined with a chemical cocktail, including propylene glycol, a liquid material also found in e-cigarettes. HTP devices convert the liquid to a vapor using battery power and release nicotine and other chemicals into the user’s airways when inhaled.
The IQOS HTP device manufactured by Phillip Morris International is made up of a paper tube covered with a foam filter on the tip. It was originally introduced to Nagoya, Japan in 2014.
An American Cancer Society research team published a study this year analyzing how the IQOS HTP device affected cigarette sales in 11 Japanese regions from 2014 to 2018. In those years, Japanese cigarette sales have declined by 10 percent per year in 2015 to 2018, a much larger drop than the 2 percent per year from 2011 to 2015. The study concluded that “the introduction of IQOS likely reduced cigarette sales in Japan.” The research team added that they found no other random or planned factors that were connected to the decreasing sales.
However, it is still unknown if long-term use of HTP products can directly harm a user, or how HTPs effects compare to using other tobacco products. The research team authors noted that it is not currently possible to reach these confirmations.