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World Tobacco Development Report 2017 (I) Economic Research Institute Of Tobacco Administration
Nov 10, 2018


In 2017, world tobacco control continued to advance, sales of traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes declined, sales of new tobacco products, especially heated tobacco products, increased significantly, tobacco market was in good shape, competition patterns of major tobacco companies changed, and development strategies gradually differentiated. The uncertainty of the development of the world tobacco industry has increased.

I. Overview of tobacco control policy

The tobacco control policies promulgated by the World Health Organization, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Union are the vane indicators for countries to promote tobacco control. In 2017, the main concerns and advances of global tobacco control are as follows:

Cigarette sales in major global markets in 2017 (10,000 cases) Note: The data comes from Philip Morris International 2017 Express and Euromonitor International.

(1) WHO's tobacco control policy

Publish the 2017 Global Tobacco Epidemic Report. The theme of the report is monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of the world's population (4.7 billion) is affected by at least one high-level tobacco control policy, which is 3.6 billion more than 10 years ago; 2.7 billion people have not been covered by tobacco control policies. In 2016, among the six major tobacco control policies in the world, the most implemented countries were smoking cessation regulations and taxation policies. The least implemented were mass media campaigns. From 2014 to 2016, the most obvious increase in the number of people covered by the tobacco control policy was the warning label, which more than doubled, while the coverage of mass media campaigns declined. The report pointed out that even with the continuous advancement of tobacco control, cigarette consumption in some countries and regions has declined, but the global population growth has led to an increase in smoking population. WHO has compiled statistics on the smoking prevalence of people over the age of 15 in 2015 in more than 140 countries. The results showed that the highest smoking rate was about 40%; the countries with smoking rates exceeding 25% were mainly Indonesia, Russia, Greece, Croatia, France, Spain, Laos, etc., accounting for 17% of the total number of countries surveyed; smoking rate was 20%. ~25% accounted for 21% of the total number of countries surveyed; smoking rates of 10% to 20% accounted for 42% of the total number of countries surveyed. Smoking rates in Europe are generally high, with 20% to 30% in most countries; smoking rates in Africa are generally low, with most countries below 10% and up to about 20%.

Organize the 2017 World No Tobacco Day event. The theme of the event was “Tobacco – a threat to development”, emphasizing the link between tobacco product use, tobacco control and sustainable development, and encouraging countries to incorporate tobacco control into their national actions in response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Encourage the public and partners to participate more broadly in national, regional and global tobacco control efforts, develop and implement development strategies and plans to achieve tobacco control goals.

Actively promote the entry into force of the Protocol for the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. In 2012, the Fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control adopted the Protocol, subject to the approval or accession of more than 40 Parties. As of the end of 2017, 35 parties have ratified or joined. Ideally, the first session of the Conference of the Parties to the Protocol will be held in October 2018.

(2) FDA's tobacco control policy

For the first time, reducing nicotine content and changing the way nicotine is delivered is the focus of reducing the harm of tobacco products. In 2017, the FDA announced a new comprehensive program aimed at reducing nicotine levels and reducing cigarette addiction levels, while considering the effects of taste and nicotine delivery on addiction and harm. The plan means that the FDA may endorse the view that nicotine delivery can affect the safety of tobacco products, and that the transmission of nicotine by combustion is a way to make cigarettes more harmful. This also means that the FDA's understanding of new tobacco products as a low-risk product has taken a big step forward. In addition to greatly stimulating new tobacco product manufacturers, this comprehensive plan will also have an important impact on the entire cigarette industry chain, mainly as follows: industrial links will focus on low nicotine content of cigarette production technology, and agricultural links will focus on reducing tobacco nicotine. The relevant technologies of content, which may lead a new round of product innovation. At present, the Altria Group announced that it has mastered the technology of producing low-nicotine cigarettes. The 22nd Century Group of the United States claims to reduce the nicotine content of tobacco leaves by 97% during the planting process.

Extend the deadline for declaration of tobacco products. In 2016, the FDA introduced new regulations to include non-cigarette tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and cigars, and required tobacco products listed between February 2007 and August 2016 to be re-applied. In 2017, in order to encourage the development of innovative products, the FDA extended the filing deadline for combustion products to August 2021, and extended the filing deadline for heating non-combustible tobacco products to August 2022. The extension of time will provide more development opportunities for innovative products and is a signal that FDA encourages innovative products. However, there are still many uncertainties in the development of heating non-combustible tobacco products because there are no more specific requirements for product standards.

The first scientific review committee did not pass Philip Morris International iQOS as an application for harm reduction products. In January 2018, the FDA held a review meeting for the application of iQOS and Marlboro heating rods submitted by Philip Morris International as harm reduction products. At the meeting, Philip Morris International explained iQOS, and experts reviewed its ingredients, use, clinical and non-clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and packaging promotion. The FDA Scientific Review Board voted on several key issues: 8 votes against, 1 abstention, vetoed the idea that "complete conversion from cigarettes to iQOS can reduce the risk of tobacco-related diseases"; with 8 votes, 1 The result of the vote against the idea of "complete conversion of cigarettes to iQOS can reduce the chance of exposure to harmful substances". The committee believes that American smokers are less likely to switch from traditional cigarettes to iQOS, and that smokers are less likely to relapse due to iQOS. The review resolution did not terminate iQOS's application as a harm reduction product, and Philip Morris International still has the opportunity to submit the application again after the argument. On the day of the review, the shares of Philip Morris International and Altria Group fell sharply, but soon recovered to the level before the review. Philip Morris International said that although the application was not approved, the review conclusion conveyed a positive signal that the company will work hard to promote the application. Considering the characteristics of medical research, even if positive test results are obtained in a short period of time, it is not enough as a direct argument that the product can reduce the risk of the user suffering from the disease. Therefore, it is unlikely that the iQOS application will be approved in the short term.

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