New York – The World Health Organization stated that smokers were more likely to get affected by COVID-19 than non-smokers. Additionally, in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic had far-reaching consequences on the consumption of e-cigarettes. A study conducted by the Gaiha University showed that nearly 56.4% of the young American population reported change in their e-cigarette use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, one-third of youth quit vaping, and another one-third reduced their use of e-cigarettes, with the remaining youth either increasing their use or switching to other nicotine or cannabis products. Thus, the study depicts that higher nicotine dependence, e-cigarette use frequency, poor online age verification, and several other factors were associated with sustained use of e-cigarette products.
Over the medium term, there has been rising awareness regarding the health hazards associated with smoking. This resulted in high demand for alternatives to traditional cigarettes, such as e-cigarettes. ?Furthermore, rechargeable e-cigarettes have been well received by consumers, aided by their higher levels of flexibility as compared to their single-use counterparts. As disposable e-cigarettes offer cost-effective solutions to the new range of consumers who are looking to test e-cigarettes, the rechargeable e-cigarettes heavily outweigh the cost difference in the long term. ?
The growth opportunity for the sales of e-cigarettes through online channels made online vendors improve purchase processes in terms of security and reliability, which, in turn, propelled the demand for these products. ?With the growing popularity of vaping devices, flavor and fragrance vendors are introducing a wide variety of e-liquids to attract consumers. Different flavors, such as menthol, mint, chocolate, cola, bubble gum, and fusions of other fruits and flavoring substances are luring a large number of consumers to adopt these e-cigarette devices.
Key Market Trends
Cost-effective Solution than Traditional Tobacco
A major portion of the world population is considering e-cigarettes or vapes as a healthier option as compared to regular cigarettes. Alongside, the added cost-effective nature of e-cigarettes in comparison to traditional ones drives the growth of the market. For instance, the cost of a single-use, disposable e-cigarette is around USD 1 to USD 15 per product or more. The rechargeable starter kits having multiple pods cost around USD 25 to USD 150 or more, whereas the liquid refill kits cost around USD 50 to USD 75 monthly. The median price of a Marlboro Reds pack is around USD 13 to USD 15, along with having nicotine content as high as 1.9 milligrams in each cigarette. The affordable cost of e-cigarettes, paired with the price-based marketing strategy of the vendors, encourages consumers to buy e-cigarettes. The affordability of the disposable models of e-cigarettes attracts consumers, making them economical for use. Moreover, the reusability of e-cigarettes by refilling adds more value to the cost-effective aspect of the product, providing a cheaper solution to the individuals.
North America Holds the Largest Market Share
North America holds the largest share in the e-cigarettes market. The involvement of youth in using these products has led to a rise in demand. For instance, youth in the United States are the major consumers of e-cigarettes. In 2020, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 3.6 million US middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the study period of 30 days, including 4.7% of middle school students and 19.6% of high school students. E-cigarettes hold the major share of tobacco products, and currently, more than 3,000 e-cigarette flavors are available in the US market, and a number of flavors are being introduced into the market every year. Nicotine-free e-liquids generate smoother vapes than other variants. Additionally, professional vapers, who perform at several events and involve in chain vaping for practice, consider nicotine-free vaping as the best alternative to traditional vaping in the regional market. The association of vaping/e-cigarettes with fashion appeal drives the demand for e-cigarettes in the North American market.
The global e-cigarette market facilitates its operation in a highly competitive market. This is due to the presence of several local, domestic, and international players in this segment. Due to several players in the e-cigarette market, the rivalry among the competitors is also intense. Product innovation and development are the most adopted strategies by the players operating in the market studied. With the increasing number of health-conscious consumers worldwide, major players are adopting various strategies to draw consumers’ attention by introducing various products with new technological advancements. Increasing firm concentration ratio and advertising expenses by companies are also heightening the competition. Key players in the market studied include British American Tobacco PLC, JUUL Labs Inc., Imperial Brands PLC, Philip Morris International Inc., and Japan Tobacco Inc., among others.
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