Something doesn’t add up?
So consumer analyst Mintel has released their latest e-cigarette market research suggesting that ‘for the first time since their launch, fewer people are using e-cigarettes to quit’ interesting to think when in the last week one of the largest multinational tobacco companies, British American Tobacco revealed bold plans to quadruple the number of markets in which it sells e-cigarettes by 2019. Someone’s market research is quite clearly not adding up somewhere? That’s one hell of a commercial decision in a market which Mintel suggest has peaked!
Mintel went on to further highlight a drop of 7% year on year from 69% in 2015 to 62% in 2016 of usage among quitters, suggesting the number of smokers using e-cigarettes to kick the habit is declining amid fears that they may be just as unhealthy as tobacco. It follows a number of recent medical studies which have warned that “vaping” could be as bad for the heart as smoking cigarettes. Interesting to think when in the same time period Public Health England concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking, whilst most recently Cancer Research UK found that people who swapped smoking regular cigarettes for e-cigarettes for at least six months, had much lower levels of toxic and cancer causing substances in their body than people who continued to use conventional cigarettes. Something doesn’t add up somewhere, and this just adds to the continued facade we touched on in a recent blog post, in regards to where the industry will go from here, the continued tit for tat, whereby a report supporting e-cigarettes is compounded by one that highlights the dangers doesn’t help anyone gain any clarity.
The fact that Mintel has noticed that today less than a third (30%) of Brits smoke regular cigarettes, down from 33% in 2014, e-cigarettes must be playing a part in this decline. Mintel senior beauty and personal care analyst Roshida Khanom said: “The lack of licensed products positioned as smoking cessation methods is hampering the e-cigarette sector and, as a result, we are not seeing as many new users enter the market’. With the introduction of the Tobacco and Related Productions Regulations 2017 shortly coming into effect, there is hope for the industry that the scepticism will end, or maybe this is too far? Even more so when it is suggested more than half of Britons (53%) think e-cigarettes should be regulated by the NHS, the report said, while 57% are concerned there is not enough information available on how the devices work. Although products are slowly being introduced which comply with the strict TRPR legislation including the all new Aspire Nautilus 2 Tank which proves a step in the right direction.
Some 42% of smokers intend to quit in the future, but just over one quarter (27%) have no interest in quitting whatsoever, the report said. Mintel surveyed 879 adult internet users who are currently trying to quit or have quit smoking in October. We must put this into perspective that in 2015 it was estimated that the UK had 2.2 million current e-cigarette users, it must be quite difficult to draw accurate conclusions when your sample size is less than 0.4% of your industries users.