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The emerging world of the electronic cigarette market
An electronic cigarette (e-cig) is a new product which replicates the sensation of smoking and delivers to the user a small dose of nicotine that can satiate cravings. This market makes some bold claims as to the health benefits and cost savings to smokers of e-cigs over normal tobacco.
The electronic cigarette (e-cig) market has been slowly developing and is starting to gain some traction in some regional markets, with the UK expected to top 1 million users in 2012 By comparison, the UK’s population is estimated to hold around 12 million tobacco smokers in the same year. This represents a potentially major shift in the market because there is a high expectation that the e-cig market may eventually come to replace the tobacco industry, providing a new area of growth for some parts of the industry.
Secondly, it is hoped that this alternative, being significantly healthier, will help to reduce the enormous burden that dealing with the medical implications from the tobacco industry produces. If both these elements could be achieved it would placate the health concerns of the consumer, government health groups, and the leading players. International tobacco companies are aware of the potential gains they could stand to make in this area and some of the largest have made moves to protect themselves from and invest in this emerging market.
One of the key benefits of the product is that it can currently legally be used in any public space such as work environments, airplanes and pubs unlike, of course, tobacco products which are banned in these areas. However, recently there has been concern as employers have considered the safety implications of using the product around colleagues in the workplace, and some may revoke this right.
The e-cig market’s future looks bright but there are a number of pitfalls that could disrupt it. For instance, both in the UK and US, the product has not yet been approved by medical authorities and there has been much debate over the safety and quality of these new and unproven products. Also, the market is very scattered currently and there is yet to be a product which will capture a more broad tobacco audience’s interest.
For further information on the electronic cigarette industry, purchase the MarketLine’s case study here