As part of the government’s goal to have Sweden be smoke-free by 2025, further restrictions are being placed on smokers towards the end of the review period with certain outside public areas such as train platforms, bus stops, sports grounds and outdoor seating including outdoor cafés, now banning the smoking of both cigarettes and e-vapour products. This is leading to the gradual declining prevalence amongst the adult population in Sweden with a higher proportion of males compared to females quitting in 2019, while comparing 2018 with the previous year, the number of adult smokers that ceased smoking stagnated.
While certain types of traditional NRT smoking cessation aids are maturing including the largest category of NRT gum, the smaller NRT lozenges continued to experience stable demand due to offering convenience but a different variant to those who may not like the act of chewing gum. However, other NRT continued to be the most dynamic performer in 2019, and is predicted to experience even stronger volume growth over the forecast period.
Although smokers in many European countries turn to e-vapour products as an alternative method of weaning themselves off smoking cigarettes, Sweden has increasingly introduced tough legislation on the use of these products, meaning that e-vapour products and vaping are unlikely to pose too much of a threat to NRT smoking cessation aids. Furthermore, Swedes tend to take note of studies published in the media and a study conducted by Länsstyrelsen indicates that e-cigarettes are ineffective as a smoking cessation aid.
McNeil Sweden retained its overall leadership of NRT smoking cessation aids in 2019, due to its dominance of the largest category of NRT gum with its brand Nicorette, which is also present across NRT inhalators, NRT patches, NRT lozenges and other NRT. The player recorded stronger value growth in the latter in line with the category’s more positive performance, while second-ranked company GSK Consumer Healthcare continued to gain ground in NRT gum to offer the leader its strongest competition.
The increasing popularity of NRT mouth sprays (under other NRT) amongst Swedish consumers such as Zonnic Munnspray and Nicorette Pepparmint Spray is due to its convenient format and release of product into the body’s system, offering consumers rapid relief and an alternative to snus or mouth pouches such as Zonnic Munnpulver. Nicotine nasal sprays such as those offered by Nicorette are also gaining in popularity with larger studies involving 24,000 smokers treated with NRT smoking cessation aids showing that 24% of consumers who have tried using nasal sprays remained smoke-free after 12 months.
While chemists/pharmacies retained its dominance of distributing NRT smoking cessation aids, it continued to lose some value to modern grocery retailers and in particular internet retailing. The latter recorded another year of double-digit value growth, with the channel able to attract consumers searching for more affordable prices.
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