NEW YORK First, it’s the first truly “new” product to enter the smoking cessation space in quite some time, featuring a strong point-of-differentiation (convenience packaging; faster efficacy), versus products already in this space.
Second, smoking cessation is about to explode, especially as President Barack Obama last month signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which cedes regulation of tobacco products to the Food and Drug Administration. The law may not ban cigarettes today, or even tomorrow, but it just placed a product long considered a public-health hazard into the regulatory hands of an agency charged with “protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of [medicines], medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics and products that emit radiation.”
The Congressional Budget Office predicts the new law will decrease adult smoking by 2%, independent of reductions in use that result from higher excise taxes and public smoking restrictions.
More than half of the close-to 50 million smokers attempt to quit each year — 70% of successful ex-smokers made one or two attempts; 22% made between three and five attempts; and 9% quit six or more times before succeeding.
And finally, earlier this month two prescription-only smoking-cessation drugs will now carry a black-boxed warning around the risk of mental health problems in patients taking the drugs.
New product with new features plus increased smoking cessation regulation plus black-boxed warnings for the more popular prescription smoking-cessation medicines all equals a potential new homerun in the smoking cessation category.