Introduction: The use of heat-not-burn tobacco products (HnB) is being adopted increasingly as an alternative to smoking combusted products, primarily cigarettes. Substantial controversy has accompanied their marketing and use in the public health context. In this study, we aimed to consider the probable impacts of HnB tobacco products use on public health. Methods: In May 2019, we conducted a systematic review of 15 studies concerning awareness and use of IQOS (abbrv. I Quit Ordinary Smoking) selected from three databases: Cochrane, PubMed, and Embase regarding public health. Results: All key outcomes varied by smoking status: more young adults who were currently smoking reported being aware of, interested in trying, and prone to trying heat-not-burn tobacco products. Interest in trying HnB products was also present among non-smokers, which raises concerns regarding new smokers. Interestingly, susceptibility to trying IQOS (25.1%) was higher than for traditional cigarettes (19.3%), but lower than for e-cigarettes (29.1%). Conclusions: Present studies suggest that HnB tobacco products have the potential to be a reduced risk product for public health compared to conventional cigarettes, considering indirectly the potential effects on the chronic diseases which are traditionally linked to traditional cigarette use as well as second hand exposure, but further studies are needed to determine whether this potential is likely to be realized. The process of HnB tobacco products becoming increasingly popular is of a global scale. Only small differences between countries on different continents regarding popularity and use of HnB tobacco products have been reported.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited