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Assessing IQOS Marketing Influences and Consumer Behavior in Israel: Implications for the US

Principal Investigator(s): Carla J. Berg and Hagai Levine
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority

ID number: 1R01CA239178-01A1

Award Date: September 18, 2019

Institution: Emory University

Developing an understanding of how heated tobacco products (HTPs) are marketed would be useful. IQOS, the global HTP leader, has a presence in several markets, including Israel. Israel is unique in that it represents three distinct regulatory contexts for IQOS: (1) during IQOS’s initial emergence in Israel, it was not categorized as a tobacco product (Dec 2016-Apr 2017); (2) IQOS was classified as a tobacco product in a relatively weak regulatory context (Apr 2017- December 2019); and (3) IQOS will be regulated as a tobacco product within new progressive legislation (study period starting January 2020). The goal of this study is to examine IQOS marketing strategies used in Israel during these three regulatory periods and assess their impact on segments of the Israeli and U.S. populations. Study aims are: (1) to examine IQOS marketing strategies in Israel from its emergence in the Israeli market and begin surveillance as IQOS is launched in the US; and (2) to examine market segments of Israeli and U.S. adults (users and nonusers aged 18-45) in relation to IQOS use and/or likelihood of future use. The researchers will study marketing content and consumer reactions in both Israel and the U.S. via examination of marketing channels (including point-of-sale audits), content analysis of advertising messaging strategies, interviews with IQOS retailers, online surveys of 1,000 Israeli and 1,000 U.S. adults, and interviews with 40 Israeli and 40 U.S. adults. Among the panel of Israeli and U.S. adults, the researchers will conduct market segmentation research on consumer characteristics; four specific market segments defined by the IQOS website will be examined: business and current events; art, culture and fashion; nature and hiking; and innovation and technology. By examining IQOS marketing strategies used in the three different regulatory periods in Israel and understanding the impact of these strategies on different consumer segments and the extent to which they generalize to U.S. consumers, findings will provide information to better estimate the potential impact of IQOS and its marketing in the U.S.

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