OPINION: UKVIA launches report into vaping’s economic impact – John Dunne, director general, UKVIA

The most popular spending avenue for vapers remains physical vape shops at 33%

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John Dunne, director general, UKVIA
John Dunne, director general, UKVIA

A large proportion of our work at the UKVIA is reactive: from responding to events that affect the industry and putting our viewpoint out there, to tackling misinformation about vaping.

About a year ago, we got our heads together and thought about what other values vaping brings to wider society. That led to us commissioning the first UK economic impact report looking at the financial value that vaping brings to our shores.

To do this, we engaged the services of the Centre for Economic & Business Research (CEBR).

The report itself is more than 60 pages long, so I will just provide some of the standout findings.

According to the CEBR, the vaping industry, particularly standalone vape shops, has seen significant growth in recent years. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of vape shops in the UK increased from 2,280 to close to 3,650, which is approximately a 61% increase.

From a regional perspective, the north-west had the highest number of vape shops in each of the years from 2017 to 2020, increasing from 381 in 2017 to 573 in 2020, a rise of approximately 50%.

The most popular spending avenue for vapers remains physical vape shops at 33%, with online vape shops remaining in second at 18%.

There has also been an increase in newsagent and convenience shop purchases from 8% in 2017 to 16% in 2021, and supermarkets increasing from 7% in 2017 to 9% in 2021.

This is just a tiny snapshot of the full economic impact report, but it gives you a flavour of just how important vaping is as an industry to the wider UK economy — and how it’s set to grow even more in the years to come.

Once the full report is released, please do read it at your own pace — there is something for everyone, and if nothing else, it will reassure you that, as a vape retailer, you are the vital, public-facing part of one of the fastest-growing and biggest value-adding industries on the planet.

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