Objective: We aimed to examine the use of heated tobacco products (HTPs) in locations where cigarette smoking was not allowed, and to explore the factors associated with such use among Japanese HTP users.
Methods: An internet-based self-reported questionnaire survey was conducted in 2019 as part of the Japan Society and New Tobacco Internet Survey. The study subjects were respondents who self-reported having used HTPs in the last year. The proportions of those who had ever used or frequently used HTPs in locations where tobacco smoking was not allowed in the last year were calculated. These locations included home, restaurants and workplaces. Furthermore, potential factors associated with HTP use in such smoke-free locations were examined using multivariable logistic regression analyses.
Results: The proportion of HTP users who had ever used HTPs in smoke-free locations in the last year was 20.7% (148/716) at home, 11.8% (128/1081) in restaurants and 11.9% (113/950) in workplaces. The proportion of those who had frequently used HTPs in those locations was 9.5% (68/716) at home, 4.8% (52/1081) in restaurants and 8.0% (76/950) in workplaces. The statistically significant factors associated with HTP use varied by location. Generally, respondents who thought HTP use was not forbidden in places where tobacco smoking is forbidden were likely to use HTPs in such locations.
Conclusion: In Japan, a considerable number of people used HTPs in locations where tobacco smoking was not allowed. Policymakers should establish clear rules about use of HTPs in smoke-free environments.
Keywords: non-cigarette tobacco products; public policy; surveillance and monitoring.
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