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Market share for flavour capsule cigarettes is quickly growing, especially in Latin America
  1. James F Thrasher1,
  2. Farahnaz Islam2,
  3. Joaquin Barnoya3,
  4. Raul Mejia4,
  5. Maria Teresa Valenzuela5,
  6. Frank J Chaloupka6
  1. 1Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
  3. 3Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  4. 4Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  5. 5Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  6. 6Department of Economics, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James F Thrasher, Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene Street, Suite 534D, Columbia, SC 29208, USA; thrasher{at}

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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 …

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  • 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.