The awareness and use of cigarillos, heated tobacco and nicotine pouches is relatively low. This is apparent from research by RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment among Dutch people aged 13 and older, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
The research shows that less than half of adults are familiar with one of these products and less than 14 per cent have ever used one of these products. Of the young people (13 to 17 years old) 12 per cent know the products and less than 1 per cent of them have ever used the products.
Users indicate that they mainly use the products out of curiosity, because they like it and because of the availability of various flavours. In addition, the participants expect that all products are less harmful and addictive than cigarettes.
The use of these products can be harmful to health. Therefore, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment recommends extending the regulations for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, such as a ban on flavours, to these products. RIVM also expects that better informing the public about health risks will result in fewer people using the products.
Not much research done yet
RIVM investigated these products because they may be used as a replacement for cigarettes. Legislation for these products is also less strict than for cigarettes and little is known about the users of these products. For example, little research has been done on nicotine pouches and heated tobacco, because these products are relatively new on the market.
Awareness and use of the products may change due to new policies or due to new products entering the market. Therefore, RIVM recommends that research into the use of new and existing products should be repeated on a regular basis. The results have been published in the scientific journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.