Over a quarter of smokers to explore smoke-free products in 2022, survey reveals

An independent survey carried out by Lake Research on behalf of Philip Morris Limited (PML), has found that over a quarter (26%) of adult smokers in the UK are likely to explore smoke-free products, like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, in 2022.

Over 1,800 adult smokers took part in the survey, which included a range of questions on the potential use of alternative products and how smokers might engage with their local retailers in the New Year.

The majority (61%) of smokers said they would feel comfortable asking their local retailer for advice on what smoke-free products might be right for them in 2022. More than half (58%) of respondents believed they hadn’t yet found a satisfying alternative to cigarette smoking to help them quit and almost a third (32%) wished they knew about a better range of options available to them.

The survey revealed several challenges local retailers may need to consider to better support adult smokers switch to alternative products. Only 17% of smokers were likely to ask retailers what smoke-free products they stock and for recommendations on what alternatives might be right for them. 65% of smokers were unlikely to ask which alternatives matched their preferences, such as taste and nicotine strength, and for information they could take away from the point of sale to find out more.

Kate O’Dowd, head of commercial planning at Philip Morris Limited in the UK & Ireland, said: “The New Year provides retailers with a great opportunity to help adult smokers switch to better smoke-free products, like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, if they’re unable to give up tobacco and nicotine products completely.

“However, this survey reveals that stocking smoke-free alternatives won’t be enough. Retailers must educate themselves and make connections with their customers, regarding the benefits of these products.

“There is a clear opportunity for manufacturers to work with retailers, to build awareness in store of alternatives like IQOS – the UK’s number one smoke-free product[1]  – and make the retailer the centre of knowledge, so they’re able to help smokers overcome any challenges they may have with the smoke-free category.”