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Flavour capsules in cigarette filters are a product design innovation that allows consumers to crush a liquid-filled capsule that flavours the cigarette smoke. Most capsules include menthol flavourings, with chemosensory properties including a cooling, anaesthetic effect that makes it easier to inhale cigarette smoke, promotes misperceptions of harm and increases the appeal of smoking for youth.1–3 Industry pretesting revealed the attractiveness of choosing if and when to crush the capsule for the flavour, but cautioned that this novelty may wear off.4 Nevertheless, since the initial introduction of flavour capsule cigarettes in the Japanese market in 2007, capsule brand variants have been introduced worldwide. Industry reports and independent research indicate a number of countries where market share for flavour capsule cigarettes has grown exponentially.5–7
According to 2014 Euromonitor data,6 the top five countries with the highest market share for flavour capsule cigarettes are in the Latin American region: Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina (figure 1). For example, flavour capsule cigarette sales are estimated to account for more than a quarter of the cigarette market share in Chile, where flavour bans have been considered but effectively defeated by the industry. It is noteworthy that …
Contributors JFT initiated and conceived the study with the assistance of FJC, who provided access and advice on the data. FI analysed the data. JFT and FI drafted the manuscript. JB, RM, MTV and FJC provided constructive inputs in the revising of the manuscript. All the authors approved the final draft and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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