• The majority of retailers (59%) believe they are seeing more customers looking for smoke-free products as part of New Year’s resolution to move away from cigarettes, than before;
  • 70% of retailers are ‘very prepared’ in offering smoke-free products, like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, as an alternative to cigarettes;
  • Other than ease of purchase, retailers believe their customers want an alternative that provides the closest experience to smoking a cigarette;
  • Over half (52%) stock heated tobacco products, with IQOS and HEETS heated tobacco sticks the most recalled brand in the category.

More customers than before are looking for smoke-free products as part of any New Year’s resolution to move away from cigarettes, an independent survey by KAM Media on behalf of Philip Morris Limited (PML), can reveal.

The majority (59%) of retailers surveyed believed that in the last few years, more of their customers have been looking for less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Over a third (38%) of the retailers expected a further increase in their customers seeking better alternatives to cigarettes in 2021, versus half that number (18%) who were expecting those numbers to fall.

70% of retailers felt that their store was ‘very prepared’ for a New Year spike in demand for better alternatives, while 60% felt staff knowledge or training on the smoke-free alternatives available was very important.

Other findings include:

  • 45% of retailers believe they play a role in helping customers move away from cigarettes as part of any New Year’s resolution;
  • Retailers rank ease of purchase, high nicotine strength and a cigarette-like experience as important to customers looking to switch to a smoke-free alternative;
  • 8 in 10 keep up-to-date with the latest developments on smoke-free products available on the market.

Over half (52%) of all retailers now stock heated tobacco products, and IQOS and HEETS heated tobacco sticks are the most recalled smoke-free brand, cementing IQOS’ position as the UK’s number one smoke-free product[1]. 

IQOS produces no smoke and less smell. Using real tobacco instead of an e-liquid, it delivers a more familiar and satisfying tobacco experience, but emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes[2].

Kate O’Dowd, Head of Commercial Planning UK & Ireland at PML, said: “Without question quitting tobacco and nicotine usage completely is the best option any smoker can make. Of those that cannot or will not quit, the New Year offers adult smokers an opportunity to make a better choice. With over a third of retailers expecting demand for smoke-free products to increase in 2021, stocking a range of alternatives, like IQOS – the UK’s number one smoke-free product – will be key in helping adult smokers move away from cigarettes for good.”

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