Herbal heated sticks are rapidly spreading worldwide not only as a replacement for conventional smoking, but also as an alternative to heated tobacco products, according to new research from TobaccoIntelligence.
These products provide an experience similar to using heated tobacco, but unlike heated tobacco products they do not contain any tobacco. Instead, they use a different substance—often tea—to hold flavorings and, sometimes, nicotine.
Now, the new TobaccoIntelligence Herbal Heated Sticks Tracker casts light on this fast-growing but poorly understood market.
It reveals that fruit flavors are the most popular in most countries covered, but nicotine strengths vary greatly. In some countries, such as Japan, only zero-nicotine products are sold.
“Heated herbal sticks are typically cheaper than comparable tobacco products, and are also compatible with some heated tobacco devices. So from the consumer’s point of view, they offer a low-cost alternative—while for manufacturers, they can provide a legal way of providing flavors in countries where heated tobacco flavors are banned,” explains Eva Antal, director of market analysis at TobaccoIntelligence’s publisher Tamarind Intelligence.
“We expect more product launches in more countries–but at the same time, we don’t expect regulators to ignore them forever,” says Antal.
Currently, Japan and Poland have the most products available, although there are far more different brands in Japan.
And Japan is also among the countries where these products are cheapest. By contrast, Germany is the most expensive.
The Herbal Heated Sticks Tracker covers nine major markets: the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia and the U.K.