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UK Electronic Cigarette Market up 340%
Despite the fact there is much confusion and concern regarding the European electronic cigarette market, the UK sector has shown significant growth of 340% in 2013. Indeed sales have increased from £44 million in 2012 to in excess of £190 million in 2013. So why is the UK market so strong and what are the specific characteristics of this growing business sector?
There are a number of factors to take into consideration with regards to the UK electronic cigarette market which we will cover below.
Smoking Cessation Aids?
Despite the fact that electronic cigarettes in the UK cannot be marketed as smoking cessation aids it seems that many people have made their own decision on this particular subject. Indeed when you bear in mind the enormous growth in electronic cigarette use across the UK compared to just 1.7% growth in the “traditional” smoking cessation market this perfectly reflects the ongoing change in market trends.
While the “traditional” smoking cessation market is larger than the current electronic cigarette market there is no doubt that e-cigarettes are catching up. Indeed, average annual growth between 2009 and 2013 in the smoke cessation market was between 6% and 10% although we saw a significant reduction in this rate for 2013. It does seem that more and more people are now looking towards electronic cigarettes as a means of cutting down and eventually stopping their smoking habit.
Underlying Opinion in the UK
The Mintel research note highlighted a number of new trends in the UK electronic cigarette market with 32% of smokers viewing electronic cigarettes as a useful means of cutting down on their tobacco intake with 26% of the opinion that they will be very useful in helping them to give up their tobacco intake completely. This would seem to suggest that by default the electronic cigarette has become perhaps the most popular tobacco smoking cessation aid of all time?
It was also interesting to learn that 31% of those questioned are concerned about a perceived lack of information about long-term health implications, 20% believe the market will need the approval of the UK NHS to deem them as safe although, perhaps more importantly, only 10% believe that electronic cigarettes are a gateway for new smokers. While this particular figure increases to 19% for those aged 19 to 24 it does in many ways weaken the political argument that electronic cigarettes are an entry point for tobacco cigarettes.
Nicotine replacement therapy
It may surprise many people to learn that non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy is still the smoking cessation aid of choice in the UK, used by 50% of those looking to quit smoking altogether. This is closely followed by electronic cigarettes at 45% although there is no doubt that at the current rate of growth electronic cigarettes will soon be number one. This research does give a very detailed insight into the UK electronic cigarette market and overall smoking cessation industry – reflecting the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes.
Will this make any difference to the UK politicians, and their European counterparts, as they attempt to rein in the ever-growing popularity of e-cigs?
Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a level headed approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on electronic cigarettes and the various products available please visit the OKCigs website