Prevalence and reasons for use of Heated Tobacco Products (HTP) in Europe: an analysis of Eurobarometer data in 28 countries
Heated Tobacco Products (HTP) are a relatively new class of tobacco products, with limited data on usage patterns. We assessed the prevalence and reasons for use among persons aged ≥15 years in 27 European Union member states and the United Kingdom.
The 2020 Eurobarometer (93.2) survey was analysed (n=28,300, aged ≥15). Multi-level regression analyses assessed socio-demographic differences in use while separate analyses investigated reasons for starting to use HTP. Results are presented as adjusted Odds Ratios (aOR) and weighted percentages with 95% Confidence Intervals (95%CI).
Overall, 6.5% (95% CI 6.1;7.0) of participants had ever used a HTP. 1.3% (1.1%;1.5%) of participants were current users of HTP, and 0.7% (0.6% to 0.9%) daily users. Current and former tobacco smokers were more likely than never tobacco smokers to use HTP (aOR 36.3 (22.9;57.5), and 7.3 (4.3;12.3) respectively. Youth aged 15-24 years of age were substantially more likely to report use, e.g. aOR for ever use=7.77 (6.56;9.21) compared to those aged ≥55 years. 51.3% of ever HTP users reported at least weekly concurrent use of combustible tobacco. Among those who reported ever use of HTP, but not e-cigarettes, the most popular reason for use was the perception that HTP are less harmful than smoking tobacco (39.5%), followed by use by friends (28.4%) and stopping or reducing smoking (28.2%).
Considerable numbers of people in the EU have ever used HTP, although current and daily use remains low. Current use is more common among younger people, and current and former smokers.