How Big is The Vaping Industry in the UK?

The UK's vaping sector has witnessed exponential growth and is now a thriving multi-billion-pound industry. Not only does it provide jobs for nearly 18,000 full-time equivalent workers, but it also contributes hundreds of millions of pounds to the government's coffers.


Cost Savings to the NHS from Switching to Vaping

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has experienced significant cost savings due to adult smokers switching to vaping. Approximately one-third of a billion pounds has been saved so far. However, experts estimate that this figure could more than double if 50% of UK smokers made the switch to vaping.


Vape Retail Stores: A Growing Sector Defying High Street Trends

While many businesses on the UK's high streets have struggled in recent years, vape retail stores have bucked the trend. Since their inception in the Noughties, they have become one of the fastest-growing sectors. Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the vaping industry has continued to thrive.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) conducted the first-ever study on the economic impact of vaping in the UK. The study examined both the direct economic contributions of the vaping industry and its broader effects, including supply chains and increased spending facilitated by the sector.

The turnover within the UK's vaping sector grew by an impressive 23.4% from 2017 to 2021, representing a £251 million increase. In 2021 alone, the sector's turnover reached £1.325 billion. When indirect economic benefits, such as supply chain support and the spending power of vape sector workers, are taken into account, the economic impact more than doubles to £2.8 billion.

In 2021, the vaping sector directly and indirectly employed approximately 17,700 individuals. Moreover, the industry made a substantial contribution to the UK Exchequer through taxation, amounting to £310 million in the same year.


Socio-Economic Benefits and Health Impact

The impact of vaping extends beyond economic benefits, with significant socio-economic advantages. One notable benefit is the positive effect on the health economy. The Cebr report estimates that healthcare cost savings associated with smokers switching to vaping reached £322 million in 2019. Furthermore, if 50% of all smokers made the switch, the potential healthcare savings would have been £698 million in 2020.

The economic productivity gained from smokers switching to vaping products was estimated at £1.3 billion in 2019. The study suggests that this figure could increase to an impressive £3.33 billion if 50% of the remaining smokers in the UK transitioned to vaping.




The first-ever economic impact report on the UK vaping industry highlights its remarkable success and the valuable role it plays in the country's economy. The sector's growth has been accompanied by job creation, increased revenue, and significant cost savings for the healthcare system. As vaping continues to expand, it remains a force for good in harm reduction and a British success story.


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