Smoking cessation market shows decline in value for the first time in 2014, reports Mintel

March 11, 2015
  • The smoking cessation market is estimated to have fallen by 4% in 2014, the first time on Mintel’s records since 2008, while E-cigarette market grows 4% in 2014.
  • 82% of E-cigarette users say that using the device is a good way to cut down on smoking.
  • Nearly one in 10 (9%) of Brits who vape or who’ve tried vaping say they have done so as it is a trendy thing to do.

Whilst sales of E-cigarettes continue to charge ahead, it seems the smoking cessation market is smouldering as a result. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals that the smoking cessation market in the UK is predicted to have shown a decline in value for the first time in 2014, falling by an estimated 4% to £130 million, down from £136 million in 2013. In comparison, the E-cigarette market is estimated to have grown by 4% in 2014, reaching an estimated £201 million, up from £193 million in 2013.

Furthermore, although the debate around the usage of E-cigarettes is ongoing, it seems that users are in agreement over the merits of using the device to kick the habit of smoking. Over four in five (82%) E-cigarette users say that using the device is a good way to cut down on smoking and 78% agree using the device is a good way to quit.

A third (33%) of UK consumers say they regularly smoke cigarettes, with 40% of this group also vaping

Roshida Khanom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Driven by a lack of innovation as well as the rise in availability of E-cigarettes, the smoking cessation market is expected to struggle in upcoming years. Changing legislations, which will see E-cigarette brands offering nicotine above 20mg/ml classified as medicinal, will see Nicotine Replacement Therapy methods directly competing against E-cigarettes, which will likely hamper the market further.”

Today, a third (33%) of UK consumers say they regularly smoke cigarettes, with 40% of this group also vaping. In addition 13% of Brits who used to smoke say they now vape. Two-thirds (67%) of Brits have never vaped.

Moreover, it seems that of those who are choosing to use E-cigarettes to stop smoking, it is less of a short-term fix than a long-term endeavour. Of those who used E-cigarettes to quit smoking, just a third (33%) say they used them for 0-3 months, whilst almost a quarter (23%) said they used them for 7-12 months and one in 10 (11%) say they used them for more than 12 months. What is more, half (50%) of those who have used E-cigarettes to quit smoking said they used the device continuously compared to 50% who used them off and on.

“Despite concerns that vaping could be a gateway to smoking, our research shows that non-smokers do not vape. Vaping has become a lifestyle choice, whether by choice due to health or money-saving benefits, or from long-term use as a smoking cessation method. Changing legislation will help consumers understand how to use it as a smoking cessation method, which may impact long-term usage.” Roshida continues.

One in five (19%) smokers are currently trying to quit, with 58% of this group currently vaping. Rather than going cold turkey, most consumers are using smoking cessation methods to kick the habit. Just two in five (40%) of those who have or are trying to quit smoking have never used any smoking cessation methods, but this rises to 58% of over-65s. Suggesting however that it is younger consumers who are relying more on smoking cessation methods, just one in four (24%) 18-24’s who are current or past quitters say they used no methods to quit smoking.

Although there is strong consumer belief in using E-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method, there are also concerns over the use of the device. Almost two thirds (63%) of Brits think that E-cigarettes should not be used in front of children and over half (56%) think that the devices should be regulated by the NHS.

This being the case, a number of consumers are choosing to use the device as the lesser of two evils. Of those who vape or have tried vaping, 30% agree they’ve used e-cigarettes as it’s a safer way to enjoy smoking, whilst one in five (20%) use them due to convenience. On the other hand, one in ten (9%) users say they have vaped as it is a trendy thing to do, rising to 12% of men, whilst just 17% of vapers use E-cigarettes because they like the taste.

“Opponents of E-cigarettes have criticised the range of flavours for making E-cigarettes seem appealing, particularly to young people. However, the low proportion of those influenced by taste suggests that it is not appealing enough to encourage people to take up E-cigarettes.” Roshida concludes.

Press review copies of the Smoking Cessation and E-cigarettes, UK 2015 report and interviews with Senior Personal Care Analyst, Roshida Khanom, are available on request from the press office.

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