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Vaping in England Evidence Update 2021: What It Means

May 28, 2021

Every year Public Health England release an update to their e-cigarette evidence review. The latest update was released in February 2021 with the aim of providing evidence on vaping products to inform policies and regulations.

Here we look at a summary of the vaping in England evidence update, the impact of COVID-19 and what this may mean for vaping businesses and manufacturers in the future.

Vaping in England Report for 2021 Evidence Update

The latest Vaping in England Report for 2021 provides the most recent look at vaping with information taken from both government policy and a range of different surveys:

  • New regulation has been introduced since the UK left the EU – the Tobacco Products and Nicotine Inhaling Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. The aim of the new regulation is to make sure the UK meets its obligations in relation to tobacco control and vaping product policies under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.
  • A review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) is to be completed by the 20thMay 2021. At time of writing there was no additional information available regarding this review.
  • There is continued commitment to a new ambition to go smoke free in England by 2030
  • A new tobacco control plan for England is expected to be published in July 2021
  • The report highlights vaping prevalence amongst young people remains stable and at a low level. But states that improvement is needed in the enforcement of age of sale regulations for vaping (and smoking)
  • Vaping products are the most popular aid used to try and quit smoking
  • There is still a misperception about vaping compared to smoking and these perceptions continue to be out of line with evidence. For example, only 29% believed vaping was less harmful than smoking. The report states that these misperceptions need to be addressed given the positive association between vaping and quitting smoking

What impact has COVID had on vaping in England?

Whilst the 2021 vaping in England evidence update does reference COVID-19 it is only to state that the pandemic is likely to have had an effect on both smoking and vaping behaviours but that due to ongoing research it is still too early to assess the full impact.

What we do know is that the vaping industry and vaping shops themselves have been impacted by lockdowns. Vape shops were classed as non-essential retail and therefore had to close their doors for large periods of the last year. Whilst in some instances click and collect has been allowed, this has presumably had the impact of changing buyer behaviours. Reaching for the internet and online sales instead of instore visits for purchase vaping supplies.

How may the COVID-19 pandemic affect vaping business and manufacturers in the future?

With a push towards online sales in all sectors as a result of lockdowns and shop closures, this article suggests that the vape industry was in a good position with online purchasing a preferred method for many customers. So, those vaping businesses with an online presence have likely prospered. Whilst those with only physical stores may have struggled.

Given that there may have already been a preference for online purchasing for those buying vape products, we may see this trend continue and it becoming the predominant sales method within the vaping industry.

Moving from a physical store to an online run business could also change the risks that businesses face from an insurance perspective. It opens up areas such as cybercrime through to ensuring your stock is insured regardless of where it is stored.

The vaping industry may also benefit from continued efforts to position vaping as a positive tool in the reduction of smoking and helping people to quit smoking. This positioning is supported both by the Vaping in England Evidence Update 2021 and also by a recent report released by the Royal College of Physicians“Smoking and health 2021- A coming of age for tobacco control?”.

At Anthony Jones we work closely with the vape sector and the IBVTA and appreciate that  this has been a challenging time for vape shop owners with their high street retail units being closed. If you have any questions about insurance for your vape shop or risk management at this time do not hesitate to get in contact with us on 0208 290 9080 or email us at ecig@anthonyjones.com.

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