HEALTH

Mintel: Declining user base means smoking cessation aids will experience slow growth through 2017

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Sales of smoking cessation aids are projected to reach $1 billion in 2012 with continued growth driving sales as high as $1.2 billion by 2017, market research firm Mintel reported Thursday. 

“As more Americans put out their cigarettes, the market for smoking cessation products is expected to grow, despite challenging economic circumstances," stated Emily Krol, Mintel health and wellness analyst. "However, smoking cessation brands face certain challenges. A declining number of smokers, as well as increased smoking bans and taxes on cigarettes are shrinking the market of potential users. Growth opportunities for this market will be found in product innovation and line extensions.”

Among Americans who have previously quit or are interested in quitting, some 41% reported that gaining weight is their biggest challenge to quitting smoking. Of those concerned with weight gain, 54% are women versus 31% men. “To help with this challenge, smoking cessation brands can proactively provide healthy solutions and tips to help consumers feel more confident in their ability to quit smoking and keep their weight where they want it,” Krol suggested.

Of the anti-smoking products currently available, 41% of those interested in quitting say they are interested in trying OTC nicotine sprays, and 41% a prescription nicotine inhaler. As many as 40% would go for OTC nicotine replacement lozenges and 38% are interested in nicotine-free cigarettes.

Of non-nicotine replacement based methods, 35% are interested in trying hypnosis, 34% acupuncture and some 37% would be interested in individual therapy or a support group specific for smoking. And 30% of people are willing to try a quit smoking app on their smartphone or tablet.

Of those who have previously quit smoking or are interested in quitting, almost half (48%) would be interested in a nutrition bar or a drink that could help them quit smoking and 46% would like a lollipop with low amounts of nicotine. 

When trying different products, it’s very important to 61% of Americans who have previously quit or are interested in quitting that they aren’t left with a craving, and 59% say they don’t want it to be expensive. Meanwhile, 56% say they want a product that’s easy to understand and 54% think it’s very important it doesn’t leave a bad taste in their mouth. When it comes to support systems, one in four say it’s very important to have an in-person support system or coach.

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‘The Biggest Loser’ starts off season 14 with a fitness challenge to all Americans and a revamped web page

BY Michael Johnsen

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products, in conjunction with Shine America, on Thursday announced the launch of the newly enhanced Biggestloser.com to serve as a one-stop portal with complete access to NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” online community.  Designed to provide fans and viewers of the hit series with the tools necessary to live “The Biggest Loser” lifestyle, the site includes “The Biggest Loser” fitness philosophy, nutritional guidelines, consumer products and community challenges connected with this season’s “Challenge America” movement. 

“The new and enhanced Biggestloser.com will bring together an array of tools and products that will inspire ‘The Biggest Loser’ viewers and fans to tackle their own weight-loss journey,” stated Kim Niemi, SVP NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products.  “We are very excited to introduce the new site and to provide everyone with access to new, exclusive content as well as personalized health and wellness planning tools that will bring the benefits of ‘The Biggest Loser’ lifestyle to people at home.” 

Returning to the show this season is trainer Jillian Michaels. Both Michaels and Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper license their own diet aid tablets. And Designer Whey, an official sponsor of the series, will be promoting its Biggest Loser Protein Powder. 

Season 14 of “The Biggest Loser” kicks off with a two-night premiere event on Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. and Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.


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Bloomberg: B&L on sales block for as much as $10 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — According to a Bloomberg report published Friday morning, Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are all potential suitors for Bausch & Lomb’s eye care business in a deal that could be valued as high as $10 billion. 

B&L is being shopped by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which is working with Goldman Sachs Group, Bloomberg reported, and both Abbott and Sanofi have contracted financial advisors as well. 

Other companies who have been invited to bid include Merck and Pfizer. 

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