US switch to electronic cigarettes to be replicated in UK

US switch to electronic cigarettes to be replicated in UK

You can name many different products and different markets over the years which have originated in the US and very quickly migrated to other parts of the world. Electronic cigarettes are most certainly one of the more prominent products of the day and continue to take the US market by storm. A recent survey by Wells Fargo Securities entitled "Tobacco Talk" perfectly illustrates the ongoing switch from tobacco cigarettes to their electronic cigarette counterparts.

We have seen an array of comments from politicians, regulators and health officials around the world but very often these are skewed towards a particular angle and a particular opinion. This survey by an unconnected third party in the shape of Wells Fargo Securities confirms an array of suspicions.

Shelf space for electronic cigarettes

One of the more interesting factors from this survey was the confirmation that shelf space for electronic cigarette products in the US is growing significantly. Over the last 12 months we have seen an increase of 31% in this particular factor and this is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Interestingly, while just a few months ago some experts suggested that electronic cigarettes would be more popular than their tobacco counterparts by 2030, the feeling from the retail sector in the US is that this could occur within the next decade!

It is also worth noting that while electronic cigarette sales growth has dipped slightly in the short-term, it is expected to level out at around 20% per annum for the foreseeable future. This in itself is a phenomenal growth figure and with the wider public now more educated about electronic cigarettes, and how they work, demand is set to grow for some time to come.

What is the situation in the UK?

While we wait specific sales data in the UK for 2013, and relevant shelf space statistics, it is worth noting that just recently the UK government confirmed smoking rates have fallen below 20% for the first time in 80 years. There is no doubt that the introduction of ever stricter tobacco regulations by the UK government has assisted with this although many believe that electronic cigarettes could eventually sound the death knell for tobacco cigarette sales.

There are now in excess of 1.4 million electronic cigarette smokers in the UK, demand is set to grow in the short to medium term and further pressure will be exerted on tobacco cigarette sales. When you also bear in mind the number of hurdles and barriers which have been placed in the way of sales growth in the electronic cigarette sector, what can we hope for when the situation is clearer?



There is no doubt that trends which originate in the US very often migrate to other markets and the UK has certainly been within this group in years gone by. The ongoing popularity of electronic cigarettes in the US is already being replicated in the UK with more and more retail outlets open to the general public. Professor David Nutt, a former advisor to the UK government on drugs policy, recently caught the headlines by suggesting that electronic cigarettes "could be the greatest health advance since vaccinations" - praise indeed from a former government official.

Apr 24 2014 No Comments

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