Over the last decade, e-cigarettes have gone from being an obscure method of quitting smoking to a worldwide cessation tool. Beyond that, the e-cig is a cultural phenomenon.
Popular among all age groups, vaping is considered, for multiple reasons, the best method of quitting smoking. Not only does it provide the nicotine that cigarettes, but replicates the sensation, social conditions and more.
From humble beginnings, e-cigarettes are a lot more than just a cigarette replica these days. Customisable and variable, e-cigs are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
What are E-Cigarettes like now?
Now, e-cigarettes are widely available from online retailers and vape stores, and accessories are commonly sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are around 2.2million vapers in Britain, and other sources have suggested there are even more.
Part of their appeal is the perceived notion that they are healthier than regular cigarettes, with the majority of scientific and medical reports finding that the damage is a fraction of that of cigarettes.
One of the most prominent reports was conducted by Public Health England, which found that e-cigarettes are considered around 95% safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
A report by Beige Market Intelligence predicted that the e-cigarette market would be worth $32 billion in 2021, with the UK market growing to $5.67bn.
What changes were made to E-Cigarettes?
However, on May 20th, the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive formally rolled out and made numerous changes to e-cigarettes and they could have a long-term impact on this thriving industry.
With nicotine concentrations now limited, tank sizes capped at 2ml and e-liquid bottles doomed to 10ml, vapers are now forced to carry more around with them, and there have been suggestions that some may be put off from e-cigs.
Despite the majority of science claiming that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to cigarettes and are helpful with regards to kicking the habit, recent data has indicated that the popularity of e-cigs in Britain may be coming to an end, with the number of smokers switching to vaping declining.
It is said to be the first time the percentage of people switching from cigarettes to e-cigs fell in 2016 from 69 per cent to 62 per cent.
With e-cigarette packaging now requiring health warnings, are people convinced that e-cigarettes are just as unhealthy as regular tobacco?
It seems to be an uncertain time for the e-cigarette industry, particularly as the creation of products will be affected by EU regulation that dictates manufacturers to specify all ingredients used in their outputs.
Perhaps things will become a little clearer in a year or so, when the Tobacco Products Directive has had more time to properly affect the industry.
Will vaping numbers further decline? Or will they bounce back?