Vaping in the mainstream media

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Vaping in the mainstream media

Roisin Delaney
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Two leading online publications have posted detailed articles about the vape industry this week, as e-cigarettes become more prevalent in mainstream media.

TIME Magazine and BBC Business each published informative and lengthy articles online exploring the industry.

BBC Business published a fact sheet on the growth of the vape industry, while TIME detailed what scientists know and don’t know about e-cigarettes.

The BBC article looks at five different areas of the industry: popularity, spending, products, most popular products, and why people vape.

Despite claims of a plateau in the number of people taking up vaping in the UK, as published in the Financial Times earlier this year, growth in the industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down if you are to believe industry leaders, and this article backs that sentiment.

In fact, the BBC cites market research from Euromonitor which says “The number of adults who vape will reach almost 55 million by 2021.”

That’s backed by the “a small but steady” decline in the number of people smoking worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

The profile piece on the e-cigarette industry also identifies spending behaviours and depicts the UK as being the third largest vape market globally — Japan is the second largest while the US takes the win as the largest.

It’s also predicted that the popularity of vape pens will surge this year according to the research documented in the article, which says, “It is reckoned that this year, vapers will spend an estimated $8.9bn on open system e-cigarettes … more than double the spend on closed-system products.”

Last but not least, BBC Business asks, ‘Why Do People Vape?’ According to a survey by Ernst & Young, “49 percent of regular users said that they used e-cigarettes in order to curb their smoking habit.”

The BBC’s analysis of the current state of the industry and market comes at a welcome time on World No Tobacco Day and ahead of Canada’s Bill S-5 which has just received royal assent.

Read the full article here.

In contrast, the TIME article focuses on the health implications which some fear may be associated with long term use of vape products. While there has been no evidence to suggest second-hand vapour is damaging to one’s health, and while the bulk of research says vaping is definitely less harmful than smoking cigarettes, the article cites new research which says e-cigarette aerosol may contain more formaldehyde than previously thought.

The article also references a 2017 study published in the British Medical Journal which reported that in the US, e-cigarettes may improve a smoker’s chances of quitting successfully, but it suggests not everyone agrees with the findings. Another US study found cash incentives to be more effective at getting smokers to quit than free e-cigarettes.

Perhaps the varying degrees in both articles illustrates the difference in position in the UK compared to the US, an emerging trend in vape-focused editorial. One thing is certain, the industry is certainly not in a slump, and the mainstream media is starting to sit up and take notice.

You can read the TIME Health article here. 

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