While NRT smoking cessation aids continued to record stable demand in 2019, the volume growth rate slowed somewhat compared to 2018, although smokers could be turning to other methods such as going “cold turkey” since the number of smokers in Ireland continues to decline. With a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces, restaurants, bars and the general workplace, a decline in the habit amongst social smokers has been particularly noticeable.
One increasingly popular alternative method used by Irish consumers in an attempt to quit smoking is through vaping, encouraging several new launches by vaping companies in 2019. Although vaping has not been endorsed by the HSE, many people are turning to this method in the belief that it will help them to slowly lose their dependency on cigarettes, despite the long-term effects of vaping being uncertain; with the distinct possibility that Ireland will fail to reach its smoke free target by 2025, the endorsement of vaping as a way to help quit smoking could emerge in the future and pose a more significant threat to NRT smoking cessation aids, particularly as it has emerged in the press that a significant proportion of adults who managed to quit smoking in Ireland in 2018, did so through the use of e-cigarettes.
While NRT gum remained the most popular form of smoking cessation aids in Ireland in 2019, positing stable growth, the smaller category of other NRT continued to record the strongest performance in both retail volume and current value growth terms. This is due to the increasing popularity of the spray format, which offers consumers greater convenience and a unit price on a par with NRT gum.
McNeil Healthcare retained its dominance of NRT smoking cessation aids in 2019, offering a wide product portfolio. For local consumers, the Nicorette brand is synonymous with NRT smoking cessation aids and is offered in formats of gum, inhalators, patches and other NRT.
Advertising of NRT smoking cessation aids remains prominent at the beginning of the year when consumers have good intentions of quitting smoking as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Although some Irish consumers no longer follow a religious faith, the Catholic tradition of Lent in the lead up to Easter also remains an opportunity for some people to attempt to quit smoking.
One challenge to accessing NRT smoking cessation aids is their availability and distribution, which is mostly limited to chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies. Marginal value share is held by supermarkets and hypermarkets, although these channels would offer consumers greater convenience if they could purchase NRT smoking cessation aids when they are doing their weekly shop.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.