Tobacco users likely to use regulation loopholes as 34% of global consumers still smoke regularly/occasionally, says GlobalData

Following recent news of changes in UK and US regulation surrounding cigarettes and e-cigarettes, respectively;

Hakan Demirci, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the matter:

“The UK’s restrictions of methanol and the US’s ban on flavoured vape cartridges comes as no surprise, especially following the UK’s 2017 ban on ten-pack cigarettes and the US’s 2019 scandal of teens smoking Juul’s. However, both sets of legislation will be relatively easy to bypass.

“Both smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes are still prevalent among consumers. GlobalData notes that 34% of global consumers smoke tobacco products regularly/occasionally and 18% smoke e-cigarettes regularly/occasionally*, a trend that will continue to grow. Many of these consumers will not wish to quit due to regulations, and if loopholes are presented, they will most likely capitalize on it to satiate their appetite.

“In the UK, the ban on menthol cigarettes and tobacco is already being curtailed by Imperial Tobacco’s Rizla brand, which has released menthol strips to put into the tobacco. Likewise, in the US, the ban only covers prefilled flavored cartridges, still leaving the possibility for consumers to fill their own flavored cartridges – a relatively straightforward and cheaper process.

“Changes to UK and US regulations suggest that these governments are seeking to not only restrict the consumption of tobacco, but also tobacco alternatives. It is not all doom and gloom however, with heat-not-burn technology gaining traction and becoming US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in April 2019. The process is marketed as a healthier alternative, producing less tar and carcinogens compared to traditional combustion methods.”

*GlobalData Consumer Survey 2018 Q4

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