Cigarette sales in fiscal 2020 fell below 100 billion for the first time in decades in Japan, as more smokers apparently opted to use heated tobacco products due to increased use of teleworking amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed.

In the year that ended in March, sales of rolled tobacco products plunged by a record 16.3% from the year before to 98.8 billion sticks, the lowest since fiscal 1990, when comparable data became available, according to the Tobacco Institute of Japan.

The figure represents more than a 70% drop from fiscal 1996 when sales peaked at 348.3 billion cigarettes.