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Flavours power switch to vaping: survey

October 31, 2023

Photo: iStock

Vapes and e-cigs are now by far the most widely-used means of nicotine delivery among Britons, with flavours powering the growth in the vape use, a new survey has found.

According to a YouGov study, Vapes are nearly twice as popular as store bought cigarettes, the next most common option for nicotine delivery (11.6 per cent vs. 6.1 per cent).

The number of vape users has increased by 36.1 per cent in the last five years, with 11.6 per cent of consumers in 2023 saying they regularly use a vaporiser or e-cigs, compared to 8.5 per cent in 2018.

Nearly a third (29.5 per cent) of those who use nicotine alternatives said they do so because prefer the taste, a 28.1 per cent increase compared to those who provided the same answer five years ago. Similarly, the proportion of British vapers who cited flavour variety grew by a third from 15.9 per cent to 20.9 per cent, coinciding with the rise of disposable vapes.

The study comes as the government is consulting on proposals including restrictions on ‘child-friendly’ vape flavours.

The survey has also found that Britons are giving up smoking in all forms. There are 16.1 per cent fewer smokers of store-bought cigarettes than five years ago and 18.8 per cent fewer cigar smokers. Even use of hand-rolled cigarettes and shisha has dropped.

More consumers are turning to nicotine gum, which has grown 16.7 per cent in popularity since 2018. Use of nicotine patches, however, has dropped by half.

Growth in vaping is driven especially by Younger consumers drive the rapid growth in vaping as regular use of these products has grown by a whopping 73.8 per cent over the past five years among 18-29-year-olds and by 46.8 per cent among 30-50-year-olds. Among consumers aged 51+, growth has been a comparatively modest 5.2 per cent.