But a government consultation may signal a crackdown.
Even after Britain’s ban on indoor smoking came into force in 2007, the smell of cigarette smoke was never far away. It wafted across pub gardens and lingered outside workplaces. Today you are almost as likely to inhale the scent of blue razz lemonade or the “refreshing, mellow tones” of watermelon.
Almost one in ten Britons is now a regular or occasional user of electronic cigarettes. On current trends (see chart) vaping is set to become more common than smoking by the mid-2020s. But many in the industry fear that a government consultation, due to conclude in December, will be followed by a regulatory clampdown.
Catering to Britain’s 4.7m vapers is increasingly big business. A report for the industry, carried out by the Centre for Business and Economic Research, a think-tank, put the industry’s turnover at £2.8bn ($3.4bn) in 2021 and calculated that it supported almost 18,000 jobs. The number of vapers has risen by almost a third since.
Cebr is an independent London-based economic consultancy specialising in economic impact assessment, macroeconomic forecasting and thought leadership. For more information on this report, or if you are interested in commissioning research with Cebr, please contact us using our enquiries page.