Dwindling vaper numbers hit Italian e-cigarette market

decline and fall - Flickr storm cryptThe Italian e-cigarette market is in decline as vaper numbers drop, but a revised tax regime holds some promise for the future, according to a new report from ECigIntelligence.

The report, part of ECigIntelligence’s continuing series of surveys on major territories for e-cigs and their regulation, finds that the Italian market has declined by around 25% over the past year.

This is likely due to a dip in vaper numbers as users abandon e-cigs after a trial period, in many cases returning to conventional tobacco. Other contributory factors are believed to include vape store closures reducing access to products, and many manufacturers limiting promotions because of uncertainty over taxation.

At the same time, there are fewer new vapers coming into the Italian market, which suggests that the market is settling down around a strong core of dedicated users.

“Vaping may also have become less fashionable. [A] survey indicates that the average age of the Italian vaper has risen from 39 to 42,” the report says.

However, the future has bright spots. An agreement on taxation subjecting “e-liquids to 50% of the excise duty imposed on the ‘equivalent amount’ of traditional cigarettes” has been reached, although details on implementation remain sparse.

And Italy continues to be one of the leaders in e-liquid manufacturing, most probably building on experience with flavourings and aromatics. A number of companies have also launched their own brands of e-liquids, as well supplying to others. Three of the biggest include Puff, Oval and eBreeze.

What This Means: Italy trails behind other important European markets such as the UK, Poland, Germany and France. But it is still a major territory for e-cigs – as demonstrated by Philip Morris International (PMI) using the country as one of two test markets for its heat-not-burn product, IQOS. And it continues to punch above its weight on the manufacturing side of the sector too.

– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff

Photo: Storm Crypt

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