The first ever UKVIA-commissioned economic impact assessment into the UK’s vaping industry reveals its positive effect for the economy, job creation, the NHS and the Exchequer.
We all know that the vaping industry is constantly at the receiving end of unfair criticism, misinformation and often woeful mainstream media coverage based on bad science.
It undermines the hard work of companies up and down the country who produce innovative products and also costs lives by discouraging smokers from switching.
This was highlighted by the author of the latest Cochrane Review which found the strongest evidence yet that vaping is better at helping smokers give up cigarettes than traditional nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or chewing gums.
Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group and an author of the new publication, said:
“Electronic cigarettes have generated a lot of misunderstanding in both the public health community and the popular press since their introduction over a decade ago.
“These misunderstandings discourage some people from using e-cigarettes as a stop smoking tool.
“Fortunately, more and more evidence is emerging and provides further clarity and we search for new evidence every month as part of a living systematic review.”
The damage that this misinformation causes, is also not lost on me nor on the wider membership of the UKVIA.
That is why, as the leading trade body representing the sector, we commissioned the UK’s first Economic Impact Assessment into the vaping industry, the most comprehensive piece of research that we have ever produced.
We asked the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to do what nobody else had done before…to provide a detailed breakdown to a regional level of the economic contribution made by the UK vape industry.
The findings of the 61-page report will help shape our activities and focus over the coming 6 to 12 months and we plan to update it on a regular basis.
We want to make this information available to anyone who wants to understand the industry, to help counter the untruths, half-truths and bad science which is doing so much harm to our sector.
As the UK’s largest industry trade association, part of our remit is to raise standards and help the industry as a whole and we want everyone to see and share the value of this research.
The report was unveiled at our packed annual UKVIA Forum which was held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster on November 18.
And judging from the feedback we received, this looks set to be the ‘go-to’ resource for anyone wanting to report on economic data on the UK vaping industry.
Not only was there a lot of excitement about its findings within the vape sector, but we have seen huge interest from the financial community in attendance.
We also believe that those politicians who are still sceptical about vaping, may look upon the sector more favourably when they see the positive impact it has on their local constituents.
We asked Cebr to look at the data from both a national and regional perspective and to analyse the direct economic contributions made by the vape industry as well as the wider economic footprint that flows from it.
On a national scale, we found that in 2021 the vaping sector’s gross value added (GVA) to the economy was £401m based on a turnover of £1,325m.
It accounted for 8,215 full-time equivalent jobs and led to £154m in employee pay.
In addition, for every £10 of GVA generated by the UK vaping industry a further £13.39 of GVA is supported in the wider economy and for every £10 of employees’ pay another £11.10 is supported in the wider community.
We found that the benefits didn’t just stop there either with contributions to the Exchequer through tax revenues accounting for £310m in 2021 and the total saving in healthcare costs associated with smokers switching to vaping products was estimated to be £322m in 2019.
I have only had time here to scratch the surface of the absolute wealth of evidence-backed and data-driven information found in the report and I would highly recommend that everyone reading this checks it out in its entirety.
As an industry we must not be afraid to blow our own trumpet, share our successes and highlight to politicians, regulators, healthcare professionals, smokers and the general public the good we do day in and day out.
Not only does the UK vaping industry do so much to help smokers to quit, but as our economic impact assessment makes crystal clear, it is also a powerful contributor to the economy too.
And with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s recent warning that the UK’s economy faces a ‘challenging’ two years, is it not about time the vaping industry is finally celebrated and not demonised?
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