Nowadays Germany is seen as the powerhouse of Europe, where economic prosperity and social liberation intertwine simultaneously resulting in the progressive nation it is today. This has naturally filtered down to vaping, where not so long ago in 2016, there were only 1 million vapers in the country, a mere 1.5% of the adult population. Fast forward four years and the German vaping industry is worth over a staggering £400million, with a 40% increase in sales within the past year alone.
More importantly however is their overall attitude towards vaping as a harm-reducing, tobacco cessation product which can combat smoking on a mass scale. We take a look at the thriving German model, whilst comparing the perceptions of vaping to that of the UK’s, ahead of the huge Vape Expo, The Hall Of Vape, in Stuttgart at the end of the month.
As many of you may know, Germany is a firm part and arguably the spearhead of the European Union, therefore since 2016, just like the UK, they have followed the TPD regulations set by the EU which dictates bottle size, tank capacity and nicotine strength of products.
Despite this, it seems the public opinion of vaping in Germany is seen in a much more positive light especially in regards to quitting smoking. Obviously, there are still clickbait headlines from untrustworthy news sources claiming vaping is toxic and more damaging than cigarettes, however, more and more people are ditching tobacco in favour of vaping due to many reasons.
Manu AKA Xmvapes says,
“Vaping is still a niche market in Germany but it's constantly growing and getting more publicly accepted and easily accessible through pod systems like the MyBlu.”
One predominant feature of why vaping is more positively acknowledged is that the advertising of vape products is fairly lackadaisical, with minimal guidelines resulting in the public being informed of the harm reduction and benefits of vaping in an educational and effective manner.
Take this in relation to the UK model, wherein advertising laws are extremely strict therefore creating an underground culture connotation which is deemed to be harmful and negative.
Furthermore, Germany has no excise tax on hardware or e-liquids as well no prohibitions against cross-border sales or transport, meaning the industry thrives from an independent standpoint, contributing to the German economy both in jobs and financially.
This type of liberal stance, whilst still adhering to the TPD regulations, highlights that the UK vaping industry has the potential to not only bring in copious amounts of revenue to the economy but to also supply the public with important and possibly life-changing information. This stance is surprisingly reinforced by German tobacco companies as well.
Michael Kaib, chief executive of the cigarette manufacturer Reemtsma, claims,
“The calls by tobacco opponents for a smoke-free future will intensify and are even echoed in our industry.” (Source: Handelsblatt Today)
Healthcare initiatives in the UK such as PHE (Public Health England) and the NHS have heavily advocated for vaping when trying to quit smoking, however even this message is relatively unknown with an alarming 93% of GPs and healthcare professionals unaware of PHE’s stance that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. (Source: New Nicotine Alliance)
All of this goes to show that without the public backing and room to manoeuvre as an industry, vaping is heavily restricted in being a highly effective cessation tool.
A lot has been made about the revision of the TPD regulations once Britain eventually leaves the EU, with many politicians expressing interest in loosening the shackles, so to speak, in regards to tank capacities, bottle sizes etc.
However as previously stated, Germany still ardently follow the TPD standards and place more emphasis on viably using vaping as a form of combat against tobacco rather than looking to expand the ratios and contents of particular products.
The future remains to be seen, but with the Vape Expo, The Hall Of Vape, taking place from 31st May to 2nd June in Stuttgart, it highlights Germany’s growth as a vaping nation worldwide. The event will feature brands such as Dinner Lady, IVG and Large Juice showcasing their talents in what promises to be a memorable few days. For tickets and an in-depth look at The Hall Of Vape Expo.
For more information, visit our website www.vapeclub.co.uk or please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any queries surrounding the German and UK vape industries or vaping in general.