The popularity of e-cigarettes has exploded, with sales worth about £16bn across the world in 2021 alone. Although vaping has been around for more than 80 years, the past five years have seen a revival in interest and investment in the sector.
The Rise In Vaping
In the UK, e-cigarette use has increased by nearly 300% in the last five years, from 1.5m units in 2015 to 4.2m in 2019.
Although the NHS does not yet recognise e-cigarettes as a cessation aid, their popularity as a device for recreational use means that public health experts are keeping an eye on the industry.
Sales of e-cigarettes in the UK rose 23% year-on-year in 2019 to £4.22bn. In 2019, the UK market research firm TAB Research estimated the size of the market at £5.2bn and projected it would grow to £8.3bn by 2027.
In the US, e-cigarette sales rose by 41% year-on-year to £2.85bn in 2019, according to the research firm Prohibition Partners. More than 80m retail packages were sold in 2020.
Investments In The Industry
The explosion in popularity of e-cigarettes has not been lost on the manufacturers, with investments in the industry reaching £11.3bn in 2020. The vaping market in the UK is set to rise 15% year-on-year for the next five years, according to TAB Research. In the US, tobacco firm Altria invested $12.8bn in e-juice manufacturer Vype in 2019. Private equity firm Advent International acquired a 49% stake in British American Tobacco’s electronic cigarettes business for £11.3bn in 2020.
Positive Vaping Mhealth Research
While the general public are more likely to have heard of e-cigarettes, many people in the medical profession might not. However, a growing body of clinical research is emerging which suggests that e-cigarettes might be better for some people than previously thought.
The UK Millionaire Cigarette
Might be it’s the glamorous image of a millionaire that has made the world of cigarettes more attractive. Or might it be that the advent of e-cigarettes has made filtering and reducing your cigs better for the environment? Whatever the reason, it seems that the wealthy are flocking to indulge in their luxury addiction a little less frequently.
In the UK, we are now seeing an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals choosing to switch to e-cigarettes. In fact, investment firm The Investment Decide has estimated that there are now more than 100,000 millionaire smokers in the UK, with an estimated collective net worth of £16.9bn.
Reduced Exposure To Cancer-Causing Chemicals
E-cigarettes and liquids are now available in a wide variety of flavours, offering something for everyone. One of the main reasons for the surge in popularity is that e-cigarettes do not contain the same cancer-causing chemicals as regular cigarettes. This is extremely positive for people who want to quit and for society as a whole, as the prevalence of smoking-related illnesses continues to decline.
The Health Benefits Of Vaping
E-cigarettes have been shown in scientific studies to be much less harmful than traditional cigarettes. In fact, some studies have suggested that e-cigarettes could be less harmful than other commonly used tobacco products.
The UK charity organization Cancer Research UK has stated that there is “limited evidence” which suggests that e-cigarettes are “probably” less harmful than traditional cigarettes. However, they add that more research is needed to confirm this. Despite this, the organisation is thrilled that more people are switching to e-cigarettes and encouraging them to stay off tobacco completely.
Cancer Research UK has also pointed to a study which compared the toxic effects of e-cigarettes with those of tobacco products. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that while the two had similar toxic effects in animal models, the amount of carcinogens in e-cigarette vapour was 100 times lower than in cigarettes. The researchers concluded that, “in humans, the risk from e-cigarette exposure is likely to be low.”
The Effect Of Flavors On Vaping
The addition of flavours to e-cigarettes and e-liquid has become commonplace, with more than 80% of American e-cigarette consumers having tried at least one type of flavouring. This is set to continue with the rise of the ‘gourmet e-cigarette’, with companies such as Misticwakky and Tobacco Artisan creating unique flavours that might appeal to the more discerning consumer.
The effect of flavours on vaping is not yet fully understood, but many people have noted that certain flavours seem to enhance the experience. A YouGov survey of 2,000 adults across the UK found that 66% of people had tried flavours in e-cigarettes and 74% found them “somewhat enjoyable.” A similar number – 64% – said they would like to try new flavours in the future.
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