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Retailers expect post-menthol ban rush to vape

May 20, 2020

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Store owners predict almost a third of menthol smokers will switch to vape or another harm-reduction product, a study by JTI shows.

The survey found that over half (52 percent) of retailers believe smokers will stay brand loyal within the cigarette category while 31 percent believe their customers will switch to vaping or other reduced risk products; 11 percent think they will switch to roll your own (RYO); and just 6 percent expect adult smokers to quit the category altogether.

The firm says the findings underline the importance of retailer and staff education about the options for menthol smokers – both in the tobacco category and in vaping.

“We have several tobacco alternatives including: Sterling Dual Leaf Wrapped cigarillos, the Logic vaping range, and our tobacco-free nicotine pouch Nordic Spirit. Whatever smokers do after the Menthol Ban, JTI has the alternatives covered,” said Mark Yexley, communications director at JTI.

However, the company also says the results show a significant shift in thinking among retailers compared to a previous survey carried out by JTI earlier in the year, with 27 percent more retailers now believing that their customers will stay with their favourite cigarette brand and fewer assuming smokers will switch to vaping (31 percent vs 45 percent).

Yexley said: “Our ‘New Dual’ range, for example, including popular brands such as Sterling New Dual and Benson & Hedges New Blue Dual, will cater to the needs of existing smokers who retailers believe will remain brand loyal.”