Free e-cigarettes for smokers in A&E trial – could this boost the UK vaping industry?

Back in 2019, it was reported that there were around 6.9 million people in the UK who considered themselves to be smokers. Despite government measures in retail stores to cover up cigarette packaging on shelves and reduce advertising attempts, smoking tobacco is still very popular in the UK to this day.

However, the vaping industry is one that has been growing for quite some time in the UK, as more people make the switch from cigarettes to vapes. Many are using vape products to help quit smoking and this has gained the attention of the NHS.

Recently, the government announced that a trial would be taking place that will offer free e-cigarettes to smokers in A&E. We look at this trial in more detail and discuss its impact on the vaping industry.

A unique trial to take place

It is important to note that while the NHS offers free medical care at the point of use, e-cigarettes or vapes are not currently available. However, recent research from Public Health England has uncovered that around 50,000 smokers in England have been quitting per year with the help of vape devices.

In an attempt to increase this figure, the NGS will run a trial in the Autumn that will offer smokers in emergency departments vaping starter packs. They will also offer referral to a local smoking-cessation service to help them quit in the long-term.

Interestingly though, only some patients will receive these products, while others will receive leaflets. Both groups will then be asked if they have quit, one, three and six months later to record the results of the trial.

What impact will this have on the vaping industry?

According to a recent research report published by Facts and Factors, the global e-cigarette market was estimated at USD 14 billion back in 2019. This is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% from 2019 to 2026.

So, what is the reason for this growth? While many people enjoy vaping just for fun, others have been using it to cut down on smoking habits and live a healthier life. Although, it should be noted that there are still risks associated with vaping products.

We believe that the latest trial created by the NHS has the potential to increase this growth in the UK, as more people become aware of vaping products. While the trial won’t have an immediate impact on the industry, over time, vaping products can become more accepted – should this trial become a more permanent strategy. With the NHS backing these products, consumer perception of their safety and benefits is sure to improve.

Protect your business from underage sales

Any patients who take part in the trial and wish to continue using vaping products must purchase these on their own behalf. This could have an impact on retailers who are selling these products online.

UK law is very clear that selling e-cigarettes, vapes or e-liquids to minors under the age of 18 is illegal. Businesses need to make sure that they have a reliable, compliant verification process in place, to protect their brand and their business. If you are selling these products online and want to avoid a £2,500 fine – AgeChecked can help.

Utilise our seamless age verification process and meet the requirements set out to offer secure age verification. Get in touch to book a free demo and see how our CSV batch upload and Client API solutions could benefit your business.

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