Lifestyle

Singapore’s anti-smoking measures have seen success through a combination of legislative and public education efforts. Mindful of the smoking allure especially among youths, Singapore authorities have introduced anti-smoking measures through controlled tobacco advertising, anti-smoking campaigns and comprehensive tobacco control policies. Singapore has also raised the minimum legal age, made tobacco products more expensive with higher taxes and prohibited smoking in even more places. These measures have seen success with the country's smoking rate shrinking from 18.3% in 1992 to 10.1% in 2020.

Nicotine addiction is, however, a hard habit to break, and alternative nicotine delivery products are commonly used as alternatives to conventional cigarettes. These alternatives can come in the form of nicotine patches, prescription medicine, and also products such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products. Under the Singapore law introduced in 2018, possessing, buying or using e-vaporiser products is illegal, following hefty fines of $2,000 per offence. However, sales on the black market continue and products are often smuggled in from neighbouring countries and sold openly on social platforms.

Recently, Straits Times released an article on the usage of e-vaporisers, featuring data from our recent study about cigarettes consumption and usage of nicotine delivery products, discussing the rise in usage of these products. Our recent study on this topic aims to contribute to the existing discussion by uncovering broader insights into Singaporeans’ consumption of conventional cigarettes, and their usage and attitudes towards various alternative nicotine delivery products with data that is representative of the Singapore adult population. These are some of the points covered in the report, with results segmentation by gender, age, and smoking habits:

- Conventional cigarette consumption and usage patterns

- Usage of alternative nicotine delivery products

- Usage patterns of e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products

- Reasons for using e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products

The full report provides a deep dive into consumption habits and preferences of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Singapore. To view the full report, do reach out to us at sales@mili.eu

Smoking prevalence

N=5,923 respondents aged between 21 to 69 years old were surveyed in Singapore, and the results are broadly representative of the Singapore citizen and permanent resident population by age, gender, household income and ethnicity.

Respondents were classified into the following based on their smoking status:

- Regular smokers: At least 3 cigarette sticks a day or 10 sticks a week on average

- Occasional smokers: Smoke LESS than 3 cigarette sticks a day or 10 sticks a week on average

- Ex-smokers: Formally a regular cigarette smoker but currently does not smoke cigarettes

- Non-smokers: Never smoked cigarettes currently or in the past

Our survey found that the overall regular smoking prevalence is 10.5%, and another 2% being occasional smokers. These statistics are close to the latest official public data on smoking prevalence in 2020, at 10.1%.


Usage of alternative nicotine delivery products

Our study also polled respondents on their usage of alternative nicotine delivery products, including nicotine patches, gum, prescription medicine and snus, providing an overview on their usage patterns and preferences of e-cigarette and/or heated tobacco products.

Smoking e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, involves heating nicotine-containing liquids into vapor with an electronic device, which is then inhaled by users. The long-term effects of vaping are unknown, and the contents of unregulated vaping products could be cancer-causing. Some e-cigarettes are made to look like regular tobacco products or may resemble pens or even USB sticks. Given their elusive casing, it makes them easy to conceal or identify.

Despite its ban, the e-cigarette is the alternative product most widely used currently (3.3%) in Singapore, followed by nicotine patches (3%) and gum (2.4%). About 1.2% also indicate that they are currently using heated tobacco products (HTPs).

Usage of e-cigarette and/or heated tobacco products

E-cigarettes have many names and are commonly known as e-cigs and vape. Heated tobacco products, also known as heat-not-burn, contain tobacco unlike the former. 3.9% of respondents surveyed indicated that they are using e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products.


Our survey found that usage of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products is higher amongst smokers than non-smokers, with only 0.5% of non smokers currently using such products. This is in comparison to 17.6% of regular smokers, and 33.0% of occasional smokers who currently use these products respectively.

At the same time, consumption of conventional cigarettes is much lower among dual usage smokers (those who smoke conventional cigarette and e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products) compared to those who solely smoke conventional cigarettes. It remains a point for debate whether such products are a gateway to, or cessation tools against nicotine addiction – This suggests deeper research is needed to comprehensively reveal the true impact of e-cigarettes consumption.

The full report provides a deep dive into consumption habits and preferences of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Singapore. To view the full report, do reach out to us at sales@mili.eu

Methodology

This survey was conducted via Milieu’s proprietary survey community in Singapore (N=5923). The data is representative of the Singapore/PR population aged 21-69 years, and the margin of error is +/- 3% at 95% confidence level. Data was collected in September 2021.

Understanding cigarette smoking and usage of alternative nicotine delivery products in Singapore

Uncovering insights into Singaporeans’ consumption of conventional cigarettes and alternative nicotine delivery products
Sonia Elicia D'Silva
December 2, 2021
MINS READ
Understanding cigarette smoking and usage of alternative nicotine delivery products in Singapore
Illustration:

Singapore’s anti-smoking measures have seen success through a combination of legislative and public education efforts. Mindful of the smoking allure especially among youths, Singapore authorities have introduced anti-smoking measures through controlled tobacco advertising, anti-smoking campaigns and comprehensive tobacco control policies. Singapore has also raised the minimum legal age, made tobacco products more expensive with higher taxes and prohibited smoking in even more places. These measures have seen success with the country's smoking rate shrinking from 18.3% in 1992 to 10.1% in 2020.

Nicotine addiction is, however, a hard habit to break, and alternative nicotine delivery products are commonly used as alternatives to conventional cigarettes. These alternatives can come in the form of nicotine patches, prescription medicine, and also products such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products. Under the Singapore law introduced in 2018, possessing, buying or using e-vaporiser products is illegal, following hefty fines of $2,000 per offence. However, sales on the black market continue and products are often smuggled in from neighbouring countries and sold openly on social platforms.

Recently, Straits Times released an article on the usage of e-vaporisers, featuring data from our recent study about cigarettes consumption and usage of nicotine delivery products, discussing the rise in usage of these products. Our recent study on this topic aims to contribute to the existing discussion by uncovering broader insights into Singaporeans’ consumption of conventional cigarettes, and their usage and attitudes towards various alternative nicotine delivery products with data that is representative of the Singapore adult population. These are some of the points covered in the report, with results segmentation by gender, age, and smoking habits:

- Conventional cigarette consumption and usage patterns

- Usage of alternative nicotine delivery products

- Usage patterns of e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products

- Reasons for using e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products

The full report provides a deep dive into consumption habits and preferences of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Singapore. To view the full report, do reach out to us at sales@mili.eu

Smoking prevalence

N=5,923 respondents aged between 21 to 69 years old were surveyed in Singapore, and the results are broadly representative of the Singapore citizen and permanent resident population by age, gender, household income and ethnicity.

Respondents were classified into the following based on their smoking status:

- Regular smokers: At least 3 cigarette sticks a day or 10 sticks a week on average

- Occasional smokers: Smoke LESS than 3 cigarette sticks a day or 10 sticks a week on average

- Ex-smokers: Formally a regular cigarette smoker but currently does not smoke cigarettes

- Non-smokers: Never smoked cigarettes currently or in the past

Our survey found that the overall regular smoking prevalence is 10.5%, and another 2% being occasional smokers. These statistics are close to the latest official public data on smoking prevalence in 2020, at 10.1%.


Usage of alternative nicotine delivery products

Our study also polled respondents on their usage of alternative nicotine delivery products, including nicotine patches, gum, prescription medicine and snus, providing an overview on their usage patterns and preferences of e-cigarette and/or heated tobacco products.

Smoking e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, involves heating nicotine-containing liquids into vapor with an electronic device, which is then inhaled by users. The long-term effects of vaping are unknown, and the contents of unregulated vaping products could be cancer-causing. Some e-cigarettes are made to look like regular tobacco products or may resemble pens or even USB sticks. Given their elusive casing, it makes them easy to conceal or identify.

Despite its ban, the e-cigarette is the alternative product most widely used currently (3.3%) in Singapore, followed by nicotine patches (3%) and gum (2.4%). About 1.2% also indicate that they are currently using heated tobacco products (HTPs).

Usage of e-cigarette and/or heated tobacco products

E-cigarettes have many names and are commonly known as e-cigs and vape. Heated tobacco products, also known as heat-not-burn, contain tobacco unlike the former. 3.9% of respondents surveyed indicated that they are using e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products.


Our survey found that usage of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products is higher amongst smokers than non-smokers, with only 0.5% of non smokers currently using such products. This is in comparison to 17.6% of regular smokers, and 33.0% of occasional smokers who currently use these products respectively.

At the same time, consumption of conventional cigarettes is much lower among dual usage smokers (those who smoke conventional cigarette and e-cigarettes and/or heated tobacco products) compared to those who solely smoke conventional cigarettes. It remains a point for debate whether such products are a gateway to, or cessation tools against nicotine addiction – This suggests deeper research is needed to comprehensively reveal the true impact of e-cigarettes consumption.

The full report provides a deep dive into consumption habits and preferences of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Singapore. To view the full report, do reach out to us at sales@mili.eu

Methodology

This survey was conducted via Milieu’s proprietary survey community in Singapore (N=5923). The data is representative of the Singapore/PR population aged 21-69 years, and the margin of error is +/- 3% at 95% confidence level. Data was collected in September 2021.