E-cigarettes may be on the rise, with *21% of UK consumers aged between 18 and 24 occasionally or regularly vaping in 2018, but it is risky for NHS hospitals to start showing support for the practice as the long-term effects of vaping are still unknown, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Last month, two NHS hospitals controversially opened on-site vape shops as part of an initiative to help more people stop smoking tobacco products. However, those opposing e-cigarettes claim that encouraging vaping may serve as a gateway to smoking for young adults, and there is currently little legislation in place in the UK that protects minors from vaping.
Sara Samedzade-Jagini, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Many researchers have studied the effects of vaping on health, but the long-term effects caused by vaping are still unknown. Most agree vapes are not deemed to be as harmful as tobacco, but the controversy over the product is still a heated debate and their endorsement by hospitals will surprise many. Advocates of vapes are adamant that the products will prevent people from smoking.”
Vaping has grown into a $4.4bn industry and is showing no signs of stopping. Health-conscious consumers are realizing the negative effects of smoking but want to retain many of the habits associated with it. Therefore, it is likely that the number of people vaping will continue to rise.
Samedzade-Jagini adds: “Tobacco companies have already recognized that smokers are actively switching to vaping, and are therefore buying shares in vaping companies and developing their own vape brands.”
* GlobalData’s Q4 2018 survey