A new research report by Oxford Economics has uncovered the extraordinary success story of vaping and alternative nicotine products in the UK. Alternative nicotine products – including vaping products, tobacco-free oral nicotine pouches and tobacco heating products – deliver nicotine without the need to burn tobacco, making them potentially less risky than traditional combustible tobacco products.
This report, commissioned by British American Tobacco UK Ltd (BAT), finds that:
- Boosting our economy: Alternative nicotine products supported 17,800 UK jobs by 2019, contributing £805m to UK GDP.
- Backing British science: BAT scientists have conducted 164 tests on its Vype brand alone, including 27 behavioural science tests, 82 chemistry tests, 35 biological tests and 20 clinical tests. BAT researchers concluded that the Vype ePen 3 emits 99% less toxicants than cigarettes.
- Unleashing British ingenuity: Driven by its global R&D hub in Southampton, BAT filed more than 170 patent applications in the UK in 2019 on new alternative nicotine products and innovations. BAT Investments Ltd. were the UK’s seventh-largest patent applicant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2019.
By 2019, there were 3.1 million vapers in the UK, a growth of more than one million in just five years. This report highlights research which shows that 97% of all vapers are current or ex-smokers, with two thirds using vapour products either as an aid to stop smoking or because they see vapour products as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
This report reveals that the UK is now the global leader in developing high quality alternative nicotine products, generating significant economic benefits for the entire UK economy. From its R&D base in Southampton, BAT says it continues to invest heavily in British ingenuity, creating value across the economy. It says the benefits it continues to bring the nation includes:
- Research – BAT’s research spending at its Southampton R&D centre doubled between 2016-20, supporting a total contribution to UK GDP of £210m in 2019.
- Value – In 2019, BAT’s alternative nicotine product activities contributed £360m to UK GDP, supporting 7,100 jobs.
What the report makes clear is that the UK is now at the forefront of alternative nicotine product innovation, leading the way globally both in terms of enabling people to make the switch from cigarettes and in terms of designing the nicotine products of tomorrow.