August 26, 2018

New research reveals vape shops are blowing away smoking

Vaping Shops UK

Can vape shops help save the high street?

New research released today reveals a more than thirty fold increase in the number of vape shops in the UK over the last five years. Vape shops are becoming a significant presence on the high street while other retailers, particularly grocers, newsagents and electrical goods stores are in sharp decline. The rapid spread of vape shops across the country has coincided with significant falls in the prevalence of smoking. The research finds that some of the largest declines in smoking rates over the past five years were observed in regions with a particularly prominent vaping sector. 

The report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research on-behalf of Philip Morris Limited, found that the number of vape shops in the UK rose from less than 100 in 2013 to 2,850 in 2018. UK sales of vape products reached £1 billion in 2017 and this is expected to double in less than three years to £2 billion by 2020.*

The report found that the North West is the UK’s number one vaping hotspot with 456 vape shops – one for every 2,019 adult smokers in the region. The region has also experienced one of the biggest declines in smoking prevalence, with the adult smoking rate falling by 4% between 2013 and 2017. 

While the growth in the number of vape shops can be seen throughout the UK, the density varies across the country. Mark MacGregor, PMI UK Corporate Affairs director, said: “This research clearly shows the huge contribution vape shops are making in helping smokers switch away from cigarettes. According to ASH, 50% of all smokers do not realise that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking. Vape shops have an incredibly important role to play in raising awareness of the various alternatives to smoking, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.”

Top 5 hotspots

Vaping hotspots by total number of vape shops

 Vape shops  (2018) 

 Smoking prevalence 2013 

 Smoking prevalence 2017 

 Change in smoking prevalence 

North West

456

20.0%

16.1%

-4.0%

South East

319

17.2%

13.7%

-3.5%

London

309

17.1%

14.6%

-2.5%

Yorkshire and the Humber

304

20.5%

17.0%

-3.5%

West Midlands

265

17.8%

14.2%

-3.5%


The research also highlights the significant impact that vape shops are having on the wider economy. 40% of vape shops were found to be trading on premises that were previously vacant. Vape shop owners now employ close to an estimated 6,000 people directly in store. The number of vape stores has grown by over 100% at the same time as retailers that have traditionally been a staple of the high street such as grocers (-15%) and electrical goods stores (-26%) are dwindling.

*(Euromonitor International)



NOTE TO EDITORS:

Vaping hotspots by number of adult smokers per vape shop

 Adult smokers per vape shop 

 Adult smoking rate 2013 

 Adult smoking rate 2017 

 Change in smoking prevalence 

North West

2019

20.0%

16.1%

-4.0%

North East

2323

21.2%

16.2%

-5.0%

Yorkshire and the Humber

2407

20.5%

17.0%

-3.5%

West Midlands

2468

17.8%

14.2%

-3.5%

East Midlands

2474

18.9%

15.7%

-3.3%

Great Britain

2694

18.8%

15.1%

-3.7%

South West

2741

17.9%

13.7%

-4.2%

Scotland

2928

21.5%

16.3%

-5.2%

South East

3080

17.2%

13.7%

-3.5%

East of England

3253

17.5%

14.2%

-3.2%

Wales

3259

20.2%

16.1%

-4.1%

London

3276

17.1%

14.6%

-2.5%

Source: Local Data Company, ONS, CEBR analysis High Street changes.

Shop type

 % change in numbers 2010 - 2017 

Vape shops

+2750%

Hairdressers & beauty salons

+60%

Restaurants & cafes

+41%

Markets / stalls

+40%

Toy stores

+39%

Repair shops

+34%

Thrift stores

+32%

Bakeries

+12%

Supermarkets

+9%

Butchers

-8%

Clothing stores

-12%

Grocers

-15%

Newsagents

-21%

Electrical goods stores

-26%

 

  • According to the 2017 Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, 5.5% of people aged 16 and over currently use e-cigarettes, equating to 2.8 million people across Great Britain.

  • Public Health England has found that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.

  • Never starting to smoke - or quitting – is always best. For those who would not otherwise stop, there are better alternatives than continuing to smoke. You can find out more about quitting and about alternatives to smoking at our new website at www.smokefreefuture.co.uk.

 

Research
Conducted by CEBR in June 2018 using multiple data sources including: Local Data Company and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey figures for 2017.

About Philip Morris International
We are a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States of America. We’re building our future on smoke-free products that are a much better consumer choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, we aim to ensure that our smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. Our vision is that these products ultimately replace cigarettes to the benefit of adult smokers, society, our company and our shareholders. For more information, see our PMI and PMIScience websites.

About Philip Morris Limited
Philip Morris Limited (PM UK) is the UK and Ireland affiliate of PMI. The company is responsible for the merchandising of PMI brands in the UK and is one of the leading suppliers of smoke-free products, including IQOS heated tobacco and IQOS MESH e-cigarette.

About Smoke-Free Future
Philip Morris has made a commitment to develop, market and sell smoke-free alternatives, and encourage adult smokers to switch to these alternatives, as quickly as possible around the world.

Contact:
For media enquiries in UK, please contact Shelley Frosdick on:
Phone: 020 7025 1373 - Email: pml@pha-media.com

For international media enquiries, please contact Ryan Sparrow on:
Phone: +41 (0)58 242 45 00 - Email: ryan.sparrow@pmi.com

 

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