Citation Moodie C, MacKintosh AM, Thrasher JF, McNeill A & Hitchman S (2019) Use of cigarettes with flavor-changing capsules among smokers in the United Kingdom: An online survey. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 21 (11), pp. 1547-1555. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/nty173
Cigarettes with flavour-changing capsules in the filter have experienced phenomenal global growth in the last decade. We explore socio-demographic and smoking-related factors associated with using capsule cigarettes, how frequently users burst the capsule, and reasons for using them.
An online survey was conducted in the United Kingdom between April-May 2016 with 6234 factory-made and/or hand-rolled cigarette smokers. This analysis focuses on 3620 factory-made cigarette smokers, aged 18 years and over, who had smoked in the past month.
Thirteen percent smoked capsule cigarettes, with younger smokers more likely than older smokers to do so. Capsule use was significantly more common among white non-British than white British, and among those planning to quit in the next six months than those not planning to quit. Most capsule users who crushed the capsule did so always (51%) or most of the time (18%), with more frequent crushing of capsules more common among females, younger and middle-aged participants, white-British and those with a lower score on the Heaviness of Smoking Index. The most common reasons for using capsule cigarettes were that they taste better (52%), are smoother (41%), provide a choice of flavours (32%) and the enjoyment of clicking the capsule (25%). Capsule and non-capsule smokers did not differ significantly in their perceptions of the harmfulness of their brand relative to other brands.
Our study provides an insight into how and why smokers of capsule cigarettes use these products, with the key drivers of use being taste, flavour choice and interactivity.