The Irish nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) smoking cessation aids market increased by 3% in current value terms in 2012, reaching a valuation of €23 million.
Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. Smoking cessation can be achieved with or without assistance from healthcare professionals or the use of medications. Methods that have been found to be effective include interventions directed at or via health care providers and health care systems and medications including nicotine replacement therapy.
The huge price differential between NRT products in Ireland in comparison with products in the UK continued to have a significant impact on growth in 2012. Recent research by the Consumer Association of Ireland indicates that savings of up to 50% can be made by purchasing products across the border in Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, the Irish Medicines Board's stance on the availability of products also had a limiting effect on growth. In Ireland, NRT products are only available through chemists/pharmacies, a stance the IMB defends, as it feels these types of products may pose a danger if taken by sufferers of certain medical conditions, necessitating consultation with a pharmacist.
Not only does this have a limiting effect on growth, but it also ensures that prices remain artificially high, as currently there is little or no real competition between chemists/pharmacies in terms of price levels.
NRT inhalators saw the fastest current value growth in 2012, although it should be noted that this was from an extremely low base. These products continue to grow in popularity, mainly as they continue to give the user the sense of having something to inhale and to hold in their hand throughout the day, with many users reporting that this decreases the level of agitation associated with stopping smoking.
Within NRT gum, mint maintained its position as the dominant flavour in 2012, with a 77% value share, followed by original/classic with 16%. It is clear that consumers' preferences remain strongly for natural flavours, and with very little flavour innovation on the part of manufacturers, this seems unlikely to change in the near future.
McNeil Healthcare (Ireland) led NRT smoking cessation aids in 2012, with the Nicorette brand reaching a 69% value share. The brand name is synonymous with smoking cessation in Ireland, thanks to continued successful advertising campaigns.
GlaxoSmithKline (Ireland)'s Niquitin brand ranked second with a 20% share, whilst third ranked Nicotinell from Novartis Ireland continued to see a small value share decline, holding an 11% share in 2012.
For more information on the Irish NRT smoking cessation aids market, see the latest research: Irish NRT Smoking Cessation Aids Market
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