Awareness of marketing of heated tobacco products and cigarettes and support for tobacco marketing restrictions in Japan: Findings from the 2018 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Japan Survey

Abstract

Japan is one of the world's largest cigarette markets and the top heated tobacco product (HTP) market. No forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) are banned under national law, although the industry has some voluntary TAPS restrictions. This study examines Japanese tobacco users' self-reported exposure to cigarette and HTP marketing through eight channels, as well as their support for TAPS bans. Data are from the 2018 ITC Japan Survey, a cohort survey of adult exclusive cigarette smokers (n = 3288), exclusive HTP users (n = 164), HTP-cigarette dual users (n = 549), and non-users (n = 614). Measures of overall average exposure to the eight channels of cigarette and HTP advertising were constructed to examine differences in exposure across user groups and products. Dual users reported the highest exposure to cigarette and HTP advertising. Tobacco users (those who used cigarettes, HTPs, or both) reported higher average exposure to HTP compared to cigarette advertising, however non-users reported higher average exposure to cigarette compared to HTP advertising. Retail stores where tobacco or HTPs are sold were the most prevalent channel for HTP and cigarette advertising, reported by 30-43% of non-users to 66-71% of dual users. Non-users reported similar exposure to cigarette advertising via television and newspapers/magazines as cigarette smokers and dual users; however, advertising via websites/social media was lower among non-users and HTP users than among cigarette smokers and dual users (p < 0.05). Most respondents supported a ban on cigarette (54%) and HTP (60%) product displays in stores, and cigarette advertising in stores (58%).