King's College London

Research portal

Use of Cigarettes With Flavor-Changing Capsules Among Smokers in the United Kingdom: An Online Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crawford Moodie, Anne Marie MacKintosh, James F. Thrasher, Ann McNeill, Sara Hitchman

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1555
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2019

King's Authors


INTRODUCTION: Cigarettes with flavor-changing capsules in the filter have experienced phenomenal global growth in the last decade. We explore sociodemographic and smoking-related factors associated with using capsule cigarettes, how frequently users burst the capsule, and reasons for using them. METHODS: An online survey was conducted in the United Kingdom between April and May 2016 with 6234 factory-made and/or hand-rolled cigarette smokers. This analysis focuses on 3620 factory-made cigarette smokers, aged 18 years and over, who had smoked in the past month. RESULTS: Thirteen percent smoked capsule cigarettes, with younger smokers more likely than older smokers to do so. Capsule use was significantly more common among White non-British than White British and among those planning to quit in the next 6 months than those not planning to quit. Most capsule users who crushed the capsule did so always (51%) or most of the time (18%), with more frequent crushing of capsules more common among females, younger and middle-aged participants, White British, and those with a lower score on the Heaviness of Smoking Index. The most common reasons for using capsule cigarettes were that they taste better (52%), are smoother (41%), provide a choice of flavors (32%), and the enjoyment of clicking the capsule (25%). Capsule and noncapsule smokers did not differ significantly in their perceptions of the harmfulness of their brand relative to other brands. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides an insight into how and why smokers of capsule cigarettes use these products, with the key drivers of use being taste, flavor choice, and interactivity. IMPLICATIONS: Cigarettes with capsules in the filter that can be burst to change the flavor have experienced remarkable growth since being introduced in 2007, but little is known about how and why smokers use these products. Thirteen percent of factory-made cigarette smokers in our sample smoked a brand with a capsule in the filter, with approximately two-thirds crushing the capsule all or most of the time. Capsule use was more likely among younger participants. The main reasons for smoking capsule cigarettes were related to how they taste, having a choice of flavors, and enjoyment of clicking the capsule (interactivity).

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454