ECig, TI and CI style guide: notes for analysts

This is a shortened version of the style A-Z, containing only those items which may be of particular relevance or use to analysts.


according to – try to avoid when referring to laws, ordinances etc.; use under, for example, or states (see also per, below)

acknowledged – be careful of this, as it implies that a speaker is perhaps reluctantly admitting something we know to be true; better to use a simple said or suggested (see also claimed, confirmed and pointed out, below)

abbreviations and acronymsacronyms: if the acronym is four letters or less, it should be all in capitals – e.g. ASH, PACT Act, NATO; it should be in lower-case if more than four letters and if commonly pronounced as words – e.g. Anvisa, DG-Santé, Evali; initialisms, in which each letter is pronounced, are in upper-case (and note this includes the WHO).

acts and bills – a bill is a proposed piece of legislation. An act is a piece of legislation passed into law. Both terms are lower-case, except in the names of specific items of legislation. The act bans ostrich-flavoured e-liquid. He is sponsoring the Protection of Ostriches Bill. Note the use of capital initials in the bill title. (But note that we lower-case bill 1234 in running text instead of Bill 1234. And leave out “No.”, so Bill No. 1234 would be bill 1234.)

advertisement / advertising – an advertisement is a physical thing such as a poster, printed ad or TV commercial; the abstract noun for the practice of using advertisements is advertising

Ages (Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety [Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit]) – not AGES, and do not use the before the acronym

AIO – spell out all-in-one in full on first mention (AIO in brackets)

at the moment – unless it really means right now, prefer at present or currently

attribution – it is not usually necessary to state that remarks were made in a press release, at a conference, in an interview etc. Plain old said usually suffices, though in the case of an exclusive interview, told ECigIntelligence can highlight the exclusivity.

banned locations – when we list places where public vaping is banned, it’s good to put the most important first, in terms of impact on consumers (and therefore demand)

Big Tobacco – capped to avoid ambiguity. Essentially this term refers to the major multinational cigarette producers; a big tobacco firm might not be a Big Tobacco firm

bullet points – each item in a bullet-pointed list should be no more than two or three lines of text in Word (though longer is acceptable in executive summaries). There should be no more than about five bullet points in a series.

Style of bullet points:

c-store – lower-case c, but spell out convenience store on first use (and see convenience store below)

capitalisation of names – generally, company, organisation and product names should have an initial cap and then be lower-case, but variations such as internal caps are fine where the name is better known and more recognisable that way (iPod). All caps may be used for short names if that is how the company presents itself and it looks odd otherwise; but it is unlikely to be the best option for longer ones (Skycigs not SKYCIGS).

claimed – be careful of this, as it implies that we don’t think the speaker is telling the truth; better to use a simple said (see also acknowledged, above, and confirmed and pointed out, below)

CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) – not ECJ

click here – it’s best for linked text to read like an ordinary sentence, rather than an instruction to “click here”. So, rather than to read our report, click here, try something like our latest report on Ruritania covers this in detail

CMR – means (substances that are) “carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic” and should be spelled out in full on first mention

confirmed – be careful of this, as it implies that we already knew or believed something and that the speaker is confirming that previous knowledge or belief; better to use a simple said (see also acknowledged and claimed, above, and pointed out, below)

convenience store – a small retail business that stocks a range of everyday items such as groceries, snack foods, confectionery etc. A tobacconist, being a specialist, is not a convenience store

currencies – where a sum of money in a not-widely-familiar currency is of major importance to an article, give it in the local currency using the standard three-letter abbreviation (with no space between the abbreviation and the numerals), then an approximation in euros (for countries in Europe that do not use the euro, except for the UK, where £ stands alone with no conversion) or US dollars (for the rest of the world) in brackets, rounding to a sensible nearby sum. So, SAR200 ($53); CHF20,000 (€19,500).

You can use the £, $ and € symbols; otherwise use the standard three-letter abbreviation for the currency, e.g. CAD for Canadian dollars, AUD for Australian dollars. In articles about Canada and Australia, for example, keep the same style and convert to US dollars, but using USD in these cases: CAD15.09 (USD11); AUS45.56 (USD30)

Czech Republic – not Czechia. The adjectival form is Czech

dates are in the format 1st January 2001

distance sales (not distant sales) are any sales where the purchaser is at a distance from the seller, so they include old-fashioned mail order as well as online; all cross-border sales are distance sales, but not necessarily vice-versa

distribution generally refers to wholesale; when discussing retail, use “retailing”, “sales channels” or similar

ECigIntelligence – refer to us exactly that way and only that way. Note the internal caps and that we don’t use the .com when referring to the publication. Do not use ECI, ECigIntel, E-cigIntelligence or any other variant, in any circumstances. (Also TobaccoIntelligence and CannIntelligence.)

ECJ (Court of Justice of the European Union) – use CJEU, but spell out on first reference

Efsa (European Food and Safety Authority) – not EFSA, and do not use the before the acronym

Egyptian Organization for Standards and Quality (EOS) – do not use Egyptian Organization for Standardization

Elf Bar

Esco Bars – two words, s on the end

EU Common Entry Gate (EU-CEG) (EU platform for submitting product notifications under the TPD)

EU Directorates-General – Capitalise and hyphenate as shown. For abbreviations after first mention, keep hyphen but only initial cap of the word after the hyphen: Directorate-General of Agriculture and Development (DG-Agri); Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG-Santé)

FDA – spell out Food and Drug Administration first time, and DO use the before the acronym (The FDA announced new guidelines… NOT FDA announced new guidelines…)

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join in to hear about news, events, and podcasts in the sector

    See more

    FOPH (Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health)  this is the English abbreviation, and it takes a the in front of it. Do not use other acronyms OFSP (French version) or BAG (German version).

    Glo – takes a capital initial

    heat-not-burn – older term for “heated tobacco”. Use “heated tobacco products”, “heated tobacco sticks”

    heat sticks – see Heets below also. We should avoid using “heat sticks” as this could cause confusion with the PMI consumables HeatSticks. Alternatives could be “heated tobacco sticks” or “consumable sticks” – depending on the context. For non-tobacco sticks, use “herbal heated sticks” (“herbal heated products”)

    Heets a.k.a. HeatSticks – lower-case (not HEETS). Heets and HeatSticks are PMI names for its consumables for Iqos and should never be used to refer to any other product

    herbal heated products/sticks – consumable products made of herbs that do not contain tobacco (may contain nicotine).

    incidence rate – means specifically frequency of occurrences over time, not to be used as a synonym for e.g. levels of use. It doesn’t mean the same as “prevalence” – if “incidence rate” means anything at all in the context of product usage, it would mean the number of new users in a given period, not the total number of users.

    Iqos – now capital initial only

    Iqos kit: the box which includes the charger, the holder (collectively, the “device”) and cables
    Iqos holder: what you put the Heets in and your mouth around
    Iqos charger: what you put the holder in (said to look like a mobile phone)
    Heets (in some markets known as HeatSticks): the tobacco-containing consumables

    -ise or -izewe use -ise – organise, realise – unless a company or organisation or publication or product name uses the z, such as the World Health Organization.

    Israel’s National Authority for Community Safety – note the S stands for Safety, not Security

    measurements – use the metric system with the standard abbreviations, and a space between the number and the abbreviation: 1 kg, 6 km, 32 mg/ml.

    minors – While it is now 18 in most countries, the age of majority is not the same everywhere (Wikipedia has a useful list here); it is therefore vital in cases of age-related regulation to specify the relevant age – and in that case the word “minors” will usually become redundant, e.g. under-18s, not minors under the age of 18 etc.

    n for sample size should not be capped; capital N stands for overall population size

    N/A for “not applicable”

    numbers – spell out one to ten, use figures thereafter: one, two, ten, 11, 1,000, 10,000, 1m, 1bn, 1tn. A billion is a thousand million, a trillion is a thousand billion. Numbers take decimal points when they are broken down into cents and pence – not commas. So €8.47 not €8,47 and 29.9% not 29,9%. We use commas to break up complete numbers with more than three digits: €2,000 times ten is €20,000 (but note €20,000.67 where 67 is the number of cents).

    (as) per – try to avoid; use under, for example, or states (see also according to, above)

    percentages are written as 99%. Be careful – accurate and clear – when dealing with percentages of percentages.

    place names – use the most commonly accepted English spelling – thus Brussels and Milan, not Bruxelles and Milano. Where an older Anglicised spelling has been supplanted by a new one that is now mainstream in English, use the new one: so Beijing and Mumbai, not Peking and Bombay. Major world cities can stand without further clarification: for smaller places, indicate the country or, for American cities, the state. So London, Tokyo, Chicago but Dundee, Scotland and Portland, Oregon. The key question is: will a reader in a different country understand which city I mean from the city name alone?

    pointed out – be careful of this, as it implies that a speaker is perhaps reluctantly admitting something we know to be true; better to use a simple said or suggested (the same goes for similar words such as explained and admitted) (see also acknowledged, claimed and confirmed, above)

    pre-filled is hyphenated

    quarters – spell out the quarters of the year. The fourth quarter of this year, not Q4 2023

    quotes – introduced by a colon unless a mere fragment contained within a sentence. Barnaby Page said: “The best style is whatever readers can understand best.” Establish who is speaking right away – by the end of the first sentence at the latest. “It’s important not to confuse our readers,” said Page. Use double quotes “like this”, except for quotes within quotes, where you should use single quote marks, ‘like this’.

    sanction – one of those awkward words with two contradictory meanings; better to use penalties or penalised, or a phrase such as “renders X liable to a fine of…” when that’s what meant.

    sanitary – public health; the “Sanitary Inspection” is the public health inspectorate

    Scandinavia properly comprises Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Use Nordic nations if you want to include Finland and Iceland too.

    shake and vape – not Shake n Vape or any other variant; if an abbreviation is required, it is SnV – but use sparingly, and always introduce in brackets after spelling out shake and vape in full first time

    shall – unless in direct quotation – is usually better rendered as must, should, sometimes will, or even just is (“the fee is” not “the fee shall be”)

    Smok – not SMOK

    states of the US – it is not necessary to append the word state to a state name unless there is scope for confusion with a city. So: Kentucky, Louisiana, but Washington state, New York state (but even then you don’t need state if it is obvious from context). Spell state names out in full. The word state does not need an initial capital.

    Tamarind Intelligence is what we now call ourselves, not Tamarind Media (though the legal entity still uses the latter name)

    titles – titles of books, magazines, newspapers, films, TV shows, websites etc. are capitalised, but not italicised or in quote marks. The Turn of the Screw, The Huffington Post. Titles of articles within journals, chapters within books, etc., should be within double quote marks and have an initial cap only. “An analysis of e-cigarette usage among teenagers” was published in The British Journal of Whatever. Titles of legal acts and bills take initial capitals – e.g. the Tobacco Act, the Protection of Young Persons Bill (But note that we lower-case bill 1234 in running text instead of Bill 1234. And leave out “No.”, so Bill No. 1234 would be bill 1234.)

    UK comprises (at least for now…) four countries (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). Great Britain comprises only the first three, and the term should be avoided. But British is an acceptable adjectival form to refer to the whole of the UK. Remember, though, that laws passed at Westminster are often specific to England and Wales and separate legislation is required for Scotland and Northern Ireland, so be careful using “British” in that context. The Republic of Ireland is an entirely independent nation.

    US rather than USA or United States. Can be used as both adjective and noun – US distributors, manufacturers in the US. Take care with American, which is liable to upset both pedants and Canadians.

    under-age: Remember that the ages at which particular things are legally permitted vary around the world. There is no global definition of “a minor” that you can automatically apply to all discussions.

    vapour – the stuff that comes out of an e-cig that the user inhales is vapour (with a u), not vape or steam (and certainly not smoke!!). You can use aerosol if you need variety, but some people dispute that it’s accurate, and in any case it might be confusing to vary terminology.

    well-being is hyphenated


    Full style guide A-Z >

    Author default picture

    Aidan Semmens

    Our Key Benefits

    The global e-cigarette market is in an opaque regulatory environment that requires professionals to be on top of industry developments to make informed decisions and optimise their strategy.

    ECigIntelligence provides organisations with leading market and regulatory data analysis to anticipate and understand market developments globally and the impact of regulatory changes to the business.

    • Stay informed of any legal and market change in the sector that impacts your organisation
    • Maximise resources by getting market and legal data analysis daily in one place
    • Make smart decisions by understanding how the regulatory and market landscape evolves
    • Anticipate risks in your decisions by monitoring regulatory changes that impact your organization