May 20, 2020
For specialist vape retailers rocked by the UK’s controversial decision to close vape stores during the lockdown, the menthol ban is providing a reason for cheer.
Andrej Kuttruf, CEO of retailer Evapo says his business is ready to play a key role in helping menthol smokers transition away from tobacco once restrictions are eased:
“Once we are in a position to reopen our shops, our in-store NHS-certified Stop Smoking Practitioners will be available to provide advice to smokers who are interested in using the ban as a means to switch to vaping.”
And the benefits to both his business and to public health could be profound, he argues:
“Even if only 10 percent of menthol cigarette smokers decide to quit for vaping this would represent a huge switch over with potentially major benefits for public health. We will be targeting the switcher market as menthol vapes have proved to be among the best products to help smokers make a successful transition.”
Other specialist retailers also see an opportunity for a much-needed sales boost over the coming weeks.
Liam Chapman, CEO at Juice Sauz Manufacturing says: “Menthol vape products are incredibly popular among consumers and are typically a first choice in our stores for anyone looking to switch to vaping. Indeed, our core menthol range V4POUR makes up a significant amount of our sales for the business.”
And analysts say that menthol smokers may soon move away from simply buying alternatives to menthol tobacco – becoming fully integrated into the vaping category:
“Menthol smokers may well start out using menthol e-cigarettes, which is normal for vapers, and subsequently move on to other flavours,” says Tim Phillips, managing director of market research firm ECigIntelligence. “This is similar to vapers who start with familiar tobacco flavour but then become more adventurous and take advantage of other flavours that are available in the e-cigarette market.”
John Dunne, director of the vaping trade body UKVIA, says: “The UKVIA and its members are fully prepared for this landmark change to UK regulations and are ready to provide smokers looking to switch, and existing vapers, with a range of viable menthol smoke-free alternatives to see them through this transition.”