ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) have recently released its newest update on adult vaping in the UK. These annual reports help to shed some light on the trends we can see in the vaping industry and could potentially help companies meet future customer demands.
Use, awareness, and attitudes to E-cigarettes
One of the keynotes from the update shows that there are now 4.3 million people who vape in the UK. That’s an increase from 3.3 million in 2020. Most current vapers are ex-smokers (57%) with the proportion peaking in 2021 (64%), potentially due to the pandemic which reinforced health concerns.
Only 8.1% of vapers had never smoked before. It also seems that the proportion of adult smokers who have never tried E-Cigarettes is continuing to decline. The good news continues as the proportion of smokers who are current vapers has increased since 2021 from 17% to 22%.
The main reason given by ex-smokers for vaping has continued to remain the same as in previous years, with 29% using vaping as a means to help quit. After that, the most common reasons are to prevent relapse, because they enjoy the experience and to save money. Similarly, smokers predominantly said they vaped to help cut down on smoking, save money, help quit and to prevent relapse.
Worryingly, there is still a trend of smokers believing that vaping is equally or more harmful than smoking, showing clear signs that the industry and experts need to continue to push vaping advocacy. A third of smokers still incorrectly believe this notion.
What are the most common vaping products used
As in previous years, refillable E-Cigarette devices remain the most common amongst current vapers, with 65% using these as their main device. This includes vapes with replaceable pods (17%) and disposable vapes (15%).
Unsurprisingly, disposable vapes have risen in popularity, particularly amongst 18–24-year-olds. Around 48% of current vapers use disposables as their main type of device in 2022, a whopping increase from 2.8% in 2021.
Our thoughts for the future of vaping
While disposable devices have undoubtedly become one of the most popular devices this year, it is likely that this will shift in the coming year. With talks of sustainability and cracking down on underage vapers, disposable devices may very well begin to wane in popularity, or at least in suitability.
With the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, disposable vapes quickly become an expensive means of vaping compared to traditional refillable tanks or pod kits, so we could see a shift in this direction. Especially as more pressures are put on companies to ensure environmentally sustainable methods are met. Even now, some prominent disposable vape brands have started turning to pod kits in response to more environmentally friendly vapes.
As the Smokefree 2030 deadline grows closer the government may step up on vaping advocacy as well as continue to crack down on illicit and illegal vapes. We hope that the UK continues to recognise the importance of vaping as a means of smoking cessation.