Electronic cigarettes continued to take sales away from NRT smoking cessation aids in 2019 as electronic cigarettes are used as a way to make the transition from smoking tobacco to stopping smoking altogether. E-cigarettes are becoming increasing popular amongst Saudi youth as they are attracted to the wide variety of brands, models and flavours.
NRT smoking cessation aids were also under threat from Champix in 2019. Champix is a prescription medication that helps the user to stop smoking.
The introduction of 100% VAT on tobacco in 2017 continues to play its part in dampening sales of NRT smoking cessation aids as many people stopped smoking as they could not afford the cost of cigarettes. The additional “shock” felt by consumers as VAT was introduced across the board in 2018 meant that increasing amounts of smokers stopped smoking without using NRT smoking cessation aids in order to save money.
GSK Consumer Healthcare became the new leader in NRT smoking cessation aids in 2019, with this player created by GlaxoSmithKline’s global merger with Pfizer and representing GlaxoSmithKline’s previous brands in Saudi Arabia. This player’s Nicotinell is the most prominent brand available in the country thanks to its famous patches.
Nicotinell sees a degree of promotion in Saudi Arabia, offering a brand website and proactively promoting via Facebook. However, overall promotion for NRT smoking cessation aids is low, with this linked to the limited range of brands and products offered in this area.
Chemists/pharmacies continued to take the major portion of distribution in 2019 with drugstores/parapharmacies in second place. Consumers usually purchase these products from chemists/pharmacies, especially due to the ongoing increase in the number of these outlets, which offer a wide variety of products, continual promotional campaigns, insurance-covered medication, loyalty programmes and online ordering.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.