Concurrent Daily and Non-Daily Use of Heated Tobacco Products with Combustible Cigarettes: Findings from the 2018 ITC Japan Survey


Use of heated tobacco products (HTPs) among current smokers is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. This study aims to compare characteristics and tobacco-related behaviors among concurrent users of HTPs and combustible cigarettes (n = 644) with exclusive smokers (n = 3194) or exclusive HTP users (n = 164). The secondary aim was to explore heterogeneity within concurrent use subgroups. Data were from Wave 1 of the ITC Japan Survey, a nationally representative web survey conducted from February to March 2018. Concurrent cigarette-HTP users were younger and wealthier than exclusive smokers. However, there were no difference in the frequency of smoking, number of cigarettes per day, and smoking cessation behaviors between the two groups, suggesting that HTPs reinforce nicotine dependence. Compared to exclusive HTP users, concurrent cigarette-HTP users reported higher frequency of non-daily HTP use, and lower number of tobacco-containing inserts per day. Almost all concurrent cigarette-HTP users smoked every day (93.9%); 48.4% both smoked and used HTPs daily (dual daily users, n = 396), while 45.5% were daily smokers and non-daily HTP users (predominant smokers, n = 213). Concurrent user subgroups differed from each other on age, tobacco use behaviors, and quit intention. Alongside heterogeneity between concurrent and exclusive product users, differences across concurrent use subgroups highlight the importance of considering frequency of use in characterizing poly-tobacco users.