The use of flavour-changing capsule cigarettes among smokers in the United Kingdom
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University of Stirling, Institute for Social Marketing, United Kingdom
King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A236
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Cigarettes with flavour-changing capsules in the filter have experienced phenomenal global growth in the last decade. However, very few studies have explored the use of these products. Our objective was to explore which smokers in the United Kingdom use these products, and why.

An online survey was conducted between April-May 2016 with a sample of 6234 factory-made (FM) and/or hand-rolled cigarette smokers. This analysis focused on the 3548 smokers (aged 18 years and over) of FM cigarettes. We explored socio-demographic and smoking-related factors associated with smoking capsule cigarettes, reasons for using them, and whether users burst the capsule.

13% of FM smokers (n=454) smoked capsule cigarettes, with younger smokers more likely than older smokers to use them (30% of 18-24 year olds compared with 5% of those 55+). Capsule use was significantly more common among those from other white backgrounds (22%) than among white British (12%), and among those planning to quit in the next six months (16%) than those not planning to quit (11%). Most capsule users crushed the capsule always or most of the time (70%), with some never crushing it (9%). The most common reasons for using capsule cigarettes were that they taste better (52%), are smoother (41%), provide a choice of flavours (32%), the enjoyment of clicking the capsule (25%) and that they are more interesting than regular cigarettes (21%). For those who never crushed the capsule, almost half (49%) smoked capsules because their brand only had capsule variants. Capsule and non-capsule smokers did not differ in their perceptions of the harmfulness of their brand relative to other brands, or their concern about the effect of smoking on their health.

Approximately one in eight FM cigarette smokers used capsule cigarettes, with the key drivers of use related to taste, having a choice of flavours and interactivity.

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