What We Can Learn from Japan’s Move to Cigarette Alternatives

By Syed Hajib Hassan

Recent studies have revealed that cigarette sales in Japan went down significantly and rapidly as soon as less harmful alternatives, such as E-Cigarettes and heated tobacco products were introduced to the market.

Being one of the largest tobacco markets, Japan is a technologically advanced nation with a sophisticated consumer base. They were quick to discover and adopt these alternatives, leading to a significant shift in the market share of cigarettes country-wide.

Research has identified hundreds of harmful chemicals within the smoke of burning tobacco in cigarettes. Heated tobacco products, on the other hand, create a fundamentally different composition of less harmful emissions, based on droplets formed by condensation.

Since the introduction of these alternatives, cigarette sales have plummeted at a rate that is five times faster than the previous years in Japan. This enormous shift has taken place organically, even before the introduction of any tobacco control policies by the Japanese government.

During the time that heated tobacco products were gaining immense popularity in Japan, the American Cancer Society’s research observed an accelerated decline in cigarette sales. The same conclusion was drawn by other independent researchers who had been studying the country’s cigarette consumption patterns since 2016.

Following in Japan’s footsteps, Pakistan can also gradually begin the move towards cigarette alternatives to lessen the impact on those adults who choose to continue smoking.

Thanks to scientific innovation in the heated tobacco product industry, smoking can be reduced significantly across the country, contributing to a future with fewer hospitalizations from smoking-related diseases.

Hajib is a freelance writer with a keen interest in Science and Technology.