A year to the day since menthol cigarettes were banned in the UK more than two thirds of vaping retailers are reporting a rise in sales of menthol flavoured e-liquids according to the UKVIA (1) study.
The ban last year, which also prevented menthol filters, papers and skinny cigarettes from being produced or sold in the UK, followed a four-year phasing-out period which saw smaller packs of rolling tobacco and 10 packs of cigarette banned in 2017.
The study revealed that more than two thirds (70%) of owners of bricks and mortar stores and online retail operations said they had seen an uptake in demand for menthol vape products. And, whilst fruit e-liquids remained the customer favourite, menthol was the second most popular flavour according to the survey.
Tim Phillips, independent analyst at ECigIntelligence, said: “What we have witnessed in the UK is that menthol as an ingredient in vape e-liquids has continued to increase following the combustible menthol ban and is now one of the most important components of all e-liquids.”
UKVIA Director-General John Dunne said the survey results were a clear indication of the importance e-cigarettes have in helping smokers to quit their habits in favour of vaping which Public Health England acknowledges is far less harmful than combustible tobacco.
“Our survey of retailers clearly shows that, as menthol cigarettes were removed from sale, vape stores witnessed an increase in sales of the same flavour in e-liquid form,” he said.
Dunne continued: “It is not unreasonable to surmise that the majority of menthol e-liquid sales above retailers’ baseline pre-ban were to those who would have previously smoked cigarettes.
“This is further evidence from our industry highlighting the critical role that vaping can play in offering smokers a transition away from tobacco and supporting the Government’s targets for a smoke-free UK.”
“As we await the Government’s response to the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) review, it is clear that the UK is now able to take advantage of its independence from the European Union, cementing its place as a global leader in tobacco harm reduction.”
He added: “The Government must recognise the important role that vaping already plays for people looking to switch from smoking tobacco and work with THE sector to increase this.”
- UK Vaping Industry Association - https://www.ukvia.co.uk/