Menthol cigarettes banned in the EU – what does it mean for the vaping industry?
Since Wednesday, 20 of May 2020 the sale of menthol cigarettes and cigarettes with taste capsule has been banned in the European Union. New regulations were introduced by the EU Tobacco Directive.
The Tobacco Directive, which was adopted in the EU a few years ago, among other things, sets out, the prohibition of the use of flavours in analogue cigarettes. The ban, however, does not apply to electronic cigarettes, tobacco heaters, and menthol cigars and cigarillos.
Say goodbye to the menthol, or choose alternative menthol option
8% of cigarette smokers in the EU used to smoke menthol cigarettes – and they have just become potential menthol e-liquid customers. This equals $11 billion in yearly sales.
Menthol cigarettes have generated $11 billion in sales across Europe. While the ban has meant to push smokers to quit the addiction, some of them (e.g. 16% in Poland) declare switching to alternative products, including e-cigarettes. Assuming 10% of menthol cigarettes smokers switching to alternative products, that still means over $1 billion that has a chance to flow into e-cigarettes industry.
The sale of menthol cigarettes has been banned throughout the EU, but customers still need menthol-based products. Provide your new potential customers with what they expect – best quality menthol e-liquids. Depending on the country you are going to target, the percentage of menthol cigarettes smokers varies between countries: Estonia: 27%, Finland: 14%, Sweden: 8%, Norway: 8%, UK: 7%, Denmark: 6%.
The special case of Estonia
Estonia has been known for one of the toughest regulations for e-cigarettes, but due to EU banning menthol cigarettes, Estonia legalises menthol e-liquids. Market share as high as 27% of menthol cigarettes in this country was one of the biggest in the EU according to Nielsen data. From the 4th of May, menthol e-liquids are legal in Estonia, which means that the game for e-liquid brands on this market has already started.
Is this the right time to launch your own e-liquid brand?
The space in the market for the new brands is created, so this may be the perfect moment for introducing your own brand.
No market tolerates any gaps. Similarly is the e-cigarettes and analogue cigarettes market, due to the gap in the industry, a good idea in the current market situation may be the implementation of the menthol e-liquid line.