The struggle for the vape industry; the view from the ground
Time: 14:40 - 14:50
Date: Friday 4th December
When it comes to the vape industry, there are two contrasting public health narratives. According to one, plucky little vape shops are helping people stop smoking; according to the other, the tobacco industry uses e-cigarettes as a fiendish new way to enslave our kids. There is little understanding of the wide range of players in the industry, their changing market strategies and most importantly, the impact of these strategies on smokers deciding to switch. Drawing on research with smokers, vapers and vape shops in the North of England, I will outline some of the approaches used by industry players to survive in a crowded market, including offering specialist expertise, building consumer trust and ensuring good product distribution. I will contrast these strategies with the overwhelming customer emphasis on price, explain some of the reasons for this and draw some conclusions about the global prospects for tobacco harm reduction.