Introduction IQOS is a heated tobacco product that was authorised as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) in July 2020. While it was removed from the US market in 2021 for legal reasons, as the first tobacco product to receive an ‘exposure modification’ MRTP order, surveillance of IQOS marketing is needed to inform regulation and policy for future MRTPs. The purpose of this study is to expand the current research on IQOS advertising in the USA by examining content and readership characteristics of IQOS ads in print magazines before and after US Food and Drug Administration MRTP authorisation.
Methods We merged content analysis data with Kantar Media data on magazine placement and expenditures. Magazine readership data were obtained from MRI-Simmons. We compared data from pre-MRTP authorisation with data post-MRTP authorisation. This study was conducted in 2021.
Results There was one unique ad and there were 13 observations pre-MRTP, and eight unique ads and 132 observations post-MRTP. Compared with pre-MRTP ads, more post-MRTP ads featured Marlboro HeatSticks, including Amber HeatSticks, and featured people. All ads contained a warning label—most warning labels were cigarette specific. IQOS ads were featured in magazines that are especially popular among women.
Conclusions After receiving MRTP authorisation, IQOS increased ad expenditures in print magazines with a readership comprised of primarily women. If IQOS returns to the US market, it will be important for tobacco control to monitor their advertisement content, placement, and expenditures.
- Advertising and Promotion
- Non-cigarette tobacco products
- Harm Reduction
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Twitter @otg2014, @dannygiovenco
Contributors OG: conceptualisation, methodology, investigation, formal analysis, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. AAS: methodology, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing, funding acquisition. DPG, JA-M, JNC: methodology, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. ZS: methodology, investigation, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. ASLT, EMT: writing—review and editing. CDD: methodology, writing—review and editing, funding acquisition.
Funding OG, AAS, DPG, JA-M, JNC, ZS, EMT and CDD were supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (U54CA229973). OG was also supported by the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (P30CA07270-5931). DPG was also supported by the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health (DP5OD023064).
Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the FDA. Neither the NIH nor the FDA had any role in the study design or conduct; the data collection, analysis or interpretation; or the manuscript preparation.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.