Back in 2013, the disposable e-cigarette was a product type that many of us thought to be in its early death throes. Advocates and the independent industry alike were certain that it would all be about refillable, reusable and rechargeable open systems from there on in. We can track the re-birth, understanding the market forces that have carried the growth, examining the spectrum of ethical and moral standards behind active marketing campaigns, and looking in detail at what we can objectively state about “new consumers” of disposable vapour products. We can also compare these newer entrants to vaping with our sector’s existing customers before the arrival of the latest disposable vapes. In short, what are brightly coloured and intensely flavoured new vapes really doing to the overall nicotine market: vaped, smoked or “other”?
From an industry viewpoint, this leads very directly to regulation. In November 2013 the discussion was focused on Europe, and the wheel has since then turned full circle from TPD2 to TPD3. With 8 years’ hindsight, what were the strengths and weaknesses of Directive 2014/40/EU’s impact on the diverse e-cigarette markets that it touched? How much of the enduring diversity in those markets is due to variation in regulations? Is the UK’s advanced position in reducing smoking through a nicotine harm-reduction approach engineered, “nudged,” or just a happy accident? How is it that the French, German and UK vape markets have so many clear differences? Finally, as an industry sector, what pleas to policy makers and regulators are in the best interests of our customers, present and future?