E-Cig Sales to Hit $27 Billion by 2022: Study

Current U.S. figures mirror global trend, with rising sales, unit volume

DUBLIN -- The pace of electronic-cigarette growth in the United States appears to be mirroring global forecasts projected into 2022, with one report saying the category could increase by a 16.6% compound annual growth rate worldwide and reach $27.7 billion in sales.

In comparison, recent U.S. figures showed an “impressive” 29.9% growth in e-cigarette sales over the four-week period ending Feb. 25, 2017, driven by an 8.8% increase in pricing and a 19.4% increase in volume, according to Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York. Alexandria, Va.-based NACS put 2015 sales of e-cigarettes in U.S. c-stores at more than $600 million.

Globally, growing health awareness, advancements in electronic-device technology and the smokeless aspect of vaping are some of the factors driving the growth of the global e-cigarette market, according to a study from Research and Markets, Dublin. Titled Global E-Cigarette Market Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022, the study said changes in lifestyle, e-commerce and various mergers and acquisitions between e-cigarette providers are some trends observed in the global e-cigarette market.

Based on product, the rechargeable e-cigarettes held the largest market globally from 2012 to 2015. The rechargeable e-cigarette, with its growing demand and popularity, is further expected to create opportunity for market growth, the research firm said. The global e-cigarette market has a “consolidated structure,” it said, with the top three competitors accounting for the major share of market in 2015.

In the United States, Vuse, a product from Reynolds American Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., led the pack with a 35.7% dollar share, followed by blu from ITG Brands, Greensboro, N.C., at 15.1%. Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Distribution Co. and its MarkTen XL product rose in dollar share to 13.1% as price promotions for blu eased, said Bonnie Herzog, managing director of beverage, tobacco and convenience-store research for Wells Fargo.

In addition to Altria, Reynolds and ITG, other players in the global e-cigarette market are Philip Morris International, New York; VMR Products, Miami; Japan Tobacco Inc., Tokyo; and British American Tobacco, London.

Yet despite being a growth category, e-cigarettes will still pale in comparison to traditional combustible cigarettes, according to the report. Cigarettes today account for nearly 90% of global tobacco sales, according to ReportLinker, Lyon, France, which put U.S. cigarette sales alone at $816 billion in 2016.

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