Brakes on the expansion of heating tobacco in France
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Paris sans Tabac, Paris, France
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A77
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Tobacco industry develops new products claiming to reduce the consumption of industrial cigarettes. Three brands of heated tobacco are registered in France, but only IQOS is fully available in France (since end 2017).

We estimated the diffusion of this product and analyzed the factors that slow down the expansion of this product.

The official data available pooled pipe tobacco, shisha tobacco and heated tobacco. This category concerns 0.65% of tobacco sales in January/February 2018 and 1.3% in January/February 2020.
The main obstacles to the expansion of heated tobacco in France are:
• The monopoly of tobacconists to sell tobacco in France. Tobacconists have an obligation to be multi-brand, prohibiting shops dedicated to a single brand as in some countries.
• The general advertising ban, which is difficult to control because the industry does not promote tobacco mini-cigarettes but equipment and often tries to circumvent the tobacco advertising ban.
• In France, heated tobacco is registered by the industry as ‘other smoking tobacco’ with taxation close to 75% for mini-cigarettes sold for €8.10. This taxation is not very far from the tax of cigarettes, which is close to 81%.
• In France, the scientific community has never confused heated tobacco (an addictive tobacco product that delivers peaks in nicotine that reinforce dependence) with the e-cigarette (which is not a tobacco product and delivers pharmaceutical grade nicotine on a regular basis and is, therefore, more an exciting product than a product of tobacco dependence reinforcement).

Heated tobacco is a harmful tobacco product which, like traditional cigarettes, must be controlled with a view to reducing its consumption. Monitoring must be continued on this product classified by the tobacco industry itself in France as ‘other smoking tobacco’ so that it does not slow the overall decline in smoking until its end.