At present, as the public is increasingly pursuing a healthy life, countries around the world are increasingly restricting traditional cigarettes. Among the 194 members of WHO, 181 members have ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, covering 90% of the global population. Countries are gradually formulating their own smoke reduction or even smoke-free plans.
But in an undeniable reality, there are currently about one billion traditional smokers in the world. If there are no alternatives or supplements to other products to provide traditional cigarette consumers with more choices and possibilities, it will be extremely difficult to achieve the reduction of smoking rates or even smoke-free plans formulated by various countries. The emergence of electronic cigarette products has filled this space in a sense.
At present, global e-cigarette products can be divided into two categories: smoke-free and smoke-free according to their usage. Among them, there are smoke products according to their working principles, which can be divided into two types: electronic atomization cigarettes and heat-not-burn (HNB) electronic cigarettes. Electronic atomized cigarettes generate gas through atomizing liquid for people to smoke; HNB electronic cigarettes generate gas by heating tobacco, which is closer to real smoke. In this regard, electronic atomized cigarettes are essentially different from traditional cigarettes. HNB electronic cigarettes differ only in the way they produce smoke.
Therefore, in this sense, electronic atomizing cigarettes are a typical representative of electronic cigarette products. In this report, unless otherwise specified, electronic cigarette products are electronic atomized cigarettes.
“Harm reduction” is the market value of electronic cigarettes
Since its inception in 2003, e-cigarette products have undergone more than ten years of development. The product form has become more and more perfect, and the functions and experience have been continuously improved. In particular, the “harm reduction” characteristics of e-cigarettes have gradually gained market and institutional recognition.
Compared with traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not burn, do not contain tar, and do not contain more than 460 chemical substances that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases when ordinary cigarettes are burned, thereby eliminating carcinogens in ordinary cigarettes. .
The CDC study in the United States believes that the content of the tobacco-specific nitrosamine metabolite NNAL in the urine of nebulized/vapor e-cigarette (ENDS) users is extremely low, which is 2.2% of cigarette users and 0.6% of smokeless tobacco users. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines are the main carcinogens in tobacco. The British health organization also stated that compared with traditional cigarettes, it can reduce health risks by at least 95%. It can be said that the contradiction between the health demands of traditional cigarette consumers and the pain points of smoking cessation has been resolved to a considerable extent.
Pan Helin, executive dean of the Institute of Digital Economy of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said that the “harm reduction” feature of e-cigarettes is its main value, and the market has such a demand, so its development is relatively fast. And Yao Jianming, a professor at the School of Business of Renmin University of China, said that e-cigarette products are highly innovative in concept and can be implemented concretely in practice, which is also valuable to society.
E-cigarettes may reduce the cost of medical expenses
The diseases and economic burdens caused by smoking have always been the focus of social attention. According to a 2018 report by the Action for Smoking and Health in the United Kingdom, the UK’s annual expenditures due to smoking reached 12.6 billion pounds, including the British National Health Service (NHS) for medical and health expenses of approximately 2.5 billion pounds.
In the United States, according to the “Annual Healthcare Spending Attributable to Cigarette Smoking: An Update” article published in 2014 by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, an analysis of medical expenditures from 2006 to 2010 found that 8.7% of annual medical expenditures in the United States can be Attributable to smoking, up to 170 billion US dollars per year; more than 60% of attributable expenditures are paid for by public programs.
In China, a report by the National Health Development Research Center of the National Health Commission pointed out that the economic burden of tobacco-related diseases in my country in 2018 was 3.8 trillion yuan, equivalent to 4.12% of that year’s GDP; of which, 83.35% was the indirect economic burden, that is, social Loss of productivity, including disability and premature death.
At the same time, tobacco-related diseases consume nearly 15% of my country’s medical resources. If it is regarded as a disease, then it can be ranked second.
Therefore, by reducing the proportion of traditional cigarette consumers through e-cigarettes, the resulting medical expenditure costs and other social costs will be reduced accordingly. The British Health Organization found that e-cigarettes can increase the success rate of smoking cessation by about 50%. This is why the UK has a relatively positive attitude towards e-cigarette products than the US. The United Kingdom and the United States are the main consumers of electronic atomized cigarettes in the world. The United Kingdom supports e-cigarettes as a product for traditional smokers to quit smoking or reduce the harm of traditional cigarettes.
“Industrial chain + brand” two-wheel drive to enhance industrial value
From the perspective of global development trends, the scale of the e-cigarette market continues to expand and its share continues to increase. The four major tobacco companies in the world, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, and Imperial Tobacco occupy the market by acquiring and launching its own brands; currently, its e-cigarette products (including e-cigarettes, HNB e-cigarettes) account for the proportion of revenue Reached 18.7%, 4.36%, 3.17%, 3.56% respectively, showing a rising trend.
Although China’s e-cigarette industry started late, it has advantages in the industrial chain. Chinese e-cigarette companies are in an absolute leading position in the middle and upper reaches of the industrial chain. At present, they have formed a complete industrial chain from upstream raw material suppliers to midstream e-cigarette designers and manufacturers, and downstream sales companies. This is conducive to the rapid iteration of products by Chinese e-cigarette companies and the realization of a production method integrating R&D, design and production.
At the same time, because e-cigarettes are obviously driven by technology and products, and Chinese companies tend to pay more attention to consumer experience, this will to a certain extent be transformed into the advantages of Chinese e-cigarette brands, which can quickly understand consumption in different economic levels and cultural environments overseas. Needs. Yao Jianming believes that the internationalization of commodities must first conform to local living habits, culture, customs, etc., in order to open the international market.
For those Chinese e-cigarette companies that have transformed from Internet companies, they can be driven by user experience, are good at industrial chain integration, and their products can achieve rapid iteration, which is obviously conducive to their expansion of the international market. At present, RELX, the leader in this field in China, has its overseas income accounted for 25% of its total income and is still growing.
Therefore, unlike smartphone brands such as Xiaomi and Huawei, which can build mature brand advantages through the strong domestic consumer market and crowds before going overseas, China’s e-cigarettes do not have such conditions under the influence of policies. If in this context, if the control is appropriate, and the Chinese e-cigarette brand can still build a strong brand awareness overseas, it will be a good reference for other Chinese brands to go abroad.
In this way, relying on the “industrial chain + brand” two-wheel drive will be able to achieve the enhancement of the value of Chinese e-cigarettes in the global industrial chain.
Appropriate support for e-cigarette brands to enhance their foreign trade value
Based on China’s special industrial chain status, the current e-cigarette market has formed a pattern of “Made in China, Consumption in Europe and America”. In 2018, electronic cigarettes made in China accounted for more than 90% of the global total, and 80% of them were sold to the European and American markets. According to Leyi data, in 2019, a total of 218 countries and regions around the world purchased e-cigarettes from China, and China’s export value was 76.585 billion yuan.