Boom in novel tobacco products outstrips vaping growth – exactly as we foresaw

TobaccoIntelligence predicted a year ago that increasing restrictions and taxes on vaping products would drive more users to other tobacco alternatives in 2022. And it does appear that this has been the case.

While vaping continues to grow in almost all jurisdictions tracked by our sister service ECigIntelligence, rates have continued to slow. In comparison, rates for other tobacco alternatives continue to increase at a significant rate.

For example, modern oral products are estimated to have a global market value totalling about $3.7bn in 2022 – up from $2.3bn in 2021 and expected to grow to just under $5bn this year. Vaping growth rates in comparison are significantly smaller – though the global market value admittedly remains significantly larger. ECigIntelligence estimates it at $17.8bn globally in 2022, up from $15.8bn in 2021 and expected to reach $19.7bn in 2023.

This means modern oral grew 60% from 2021 to 2022 and is expected to grow a further 54% this year, while vaping only grew by 13% from 2021 to 2022 and is only expected to see 25% growth this year.

This is still significant and largely matches the steady growth seen in the category in almost all years tracked. However, it does pale alongside the rapid growth rate seen in tobacco alternatives such as heated tobacco and modern oral.


Boom in popularity means increase in scrutiny

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    This is also demonstrated by heated tobacco overtaking vaping in the EU between 2017 and 2021 and now oral nicotine pouches are catching up as well. It will be some time before they reach the same heights, but TobaccoIntelligence estimates nicotine pouch products will reach €2.4bn in the EU by 2025 from just over €1bn in 2021 compared to €3.8bn for vaping products (from €3bn in 2021).

    That indicates there is still some way to go, but the rate of change is increasing, with pouch products gaining €1.4bn as against vaping products’ €800m over that period.

    TobaccoIntelligence was right in our prediction that increased restrictions on vaping, combined with increased availability of heat-not-burn (HnB) and other alternative nicotine products such as pouches would see a change in growth patterns.

    We also pointed out that it would not all be going the way of alternatives in 2022. Increased scrutiny would come with increased popularity and this would lead to further regulations. This has been demonstrated by multiple jurisdictions starting to explicitly add heated tobacco products to tobacco regulations where laws were unclear or omitted them previously.

    Similarly, moves such as the EU electing to ban flavours for heated tobacco shows regulators are concerned about the popularity of these products and are looking at similar measures to those brought in on vaping in many jurisdictions to help control them.

    Freddie Dawson TobaccoIntelligence staff

    Freddie Dawson

    Senior news editor
    Freddie studied at King’s College, London and City University and worked for publications including The Times, The Malay Mail, PathfinderBuzz and Solar Summary before joining the ECigIntelligence team. He has extensive experience in covering fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing and technological innovation.