Despite the more stringent safety protocols in recent years, smoking is just as pervasive as ever. In fact, there are currently 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide as reported by the World Health Organization. There have been several strategies to curb tobacco consumption, partly because tobacco aggravates cardiovascular and respiratory conditions in vulnerable individuals, as we explained in our post ‘Promoting Factors of COVID-19’. However, smokers have continued to consume tobacco products at an alarming rate.
Of course, traditional tobacco cigarettes aren’t the only option smokers have turned to, with the rise of nicotine alternatives as smoking cessation aids. In this article, we’ll identify the market trends that underscore the use of various nicotine products today.
Cigarettes remain the top nicotine product, but not for long
Even with preventive measures like bans on tobacco advertising, tax increase, and visual health warnings, the cigarette industry continues to produce the top nicotine product. Smarter marketing plays by tobacco companies contribute to why cigarette spending is high. An article published by NPR even cites that manufacturers sold 203.7 billion cigarettes in 2020, up from 202.9 billion in 2019. Major cigarette firms have tried to craft better marketing schemes to counteract the explicit public health risks of tobacco. For instance, tobacco company Altria delivered bulk orders of cigarettes to retain shelf space in offline retailers. Meanwhile, other companies increased their advertising and promotion to $7.84 billion, with a focus on price discounting to warrant additional attention from the market.
NPR goes on to mention that tobacco was not the only key player in smokers’ consumption. The total nicotine consumption rate of 3.4% in 2020 included new, non-combustible alternatives as well. These options are referred to as nicotine replacement products (oral and dermal) which increased the demand for nicotine.
The rise of nicotine alternatives
Alongside the rise of tobacco use, nicotine replacement therapy products have also been widely adopted among smokers globally. Read on to learn more about which types of nicotine alternatives are considered the most popular and why they are.
In a 2021 report on global nicotine trends, nicotine patches made up over 20% of the total retail market ($2.5 billion) for smoking cessation aids. The appeal of nicotine patches is largely due to their convenience. Consumers can simply wear these patches under clothes and be provided a regulated dosage of nicotine. An effective smoking cessation aid, nicotine patches are applied on the skin and can be worn for up to 24 hours. As NicoDerm patches demonstrate, these products are offered at varying doses, so individuals can gradually lower their intake as they attempt to quit smoking.
In the same report on worldwide trends in nicotine, the total retail market for tobacco-free oral nicotine was valued at $1.2 billion. A popular option among these products is nicotine pouches. These products are easy to use; you simply tuck one between your lips until the nicotine seeps out. If you take a look at the On! nicotine pouches listed online at Prilla, the high-quality ones are 100% tobacco-free, making them a good option for those who want to avoid tobacco-related health complications. They also help avoid stained teeth or foul breath. Pouches come in a diverse range of flavors such as citrus, coffee, and mint— presenting options for consumers to choose from.
Out of the $2.5 billion total retail market value of smoking cessation aids, nicotine gum represented 51.4%. A useful nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine gum is an FDA-approved medication that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These products work much like chewing gum. However, unlike regular gum, they’re placed inside the cheek until users register a tingling sensation. Nicotine gum, similar to nicotine patches, comes in a range of nicotine doses, making it easier for users to limit nicotine consumption.
Besides traditional tobacco products, the emerging trend of oral nicotine/patches can bolster the consumption of nicotine. These alternatives are shown to be beneficial for smokers who wish to decrease their cigarette use or start their cessation journey.