A report, commissioned by the UK Vaping Industry Association, has measured the economic impact of the vaping industry on the UK.
The study, which was compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found that the UK had nearly 18,000 full-time equivalent workers employed by the vaping industry.
The commissioners say the study is the first of its kind.
The study found impacts vary on a regional basis, which has changed over the last few years.
The North West’s vaping industry had the highest turnover contribution in 2017 at £163 million, but was overtaken by the South East in 2019.
The South East remained the highest regional contributor of turnover in 2020 at £217 million.
These figures mirror the regions with the highest number of physical vape shops.
However, Oldham, Bolton and Bury were all found to be among the top places for employment in the vaping industry and gross value added by the vaping industry in 2020.
Broken down by parliamentary constituency, Glasgow Central’s vaping industry was found to have the biggest impact, with 46 full-time equivalent employees and £1.6 million in gross value added.
Bury North was one of the top 50 constituencies nationwide, with 23 full time employed in the vaping industry, adding more than £750,000 to the economy.
The report also found that the UK vaping industry-supported employment in deprived communities.
It analysed the regional unemployment rate to test whether the vaping industry directly supported employment in regions of high unemployment.
Regional breakdown of employment impact on regions from vaping (Image: CEBR)
The report concluded: “The vaping industry supports employment across all regions across the UK, however, this particularly occurs in areas of high deprivation, or where employment opportunities are limited.
“There is a positive relationship between regional unemployment rates and regional vaping industry employment.
“This supports the hypothesis that vaping sector employment is disproportionately important, in areas with otherwise lower labour market opportunities.
“In particular, the North East supports the second highest count of regional vaping industry FTEs (and highest in relative terms) whilst also having the highest regional unemployment rate.
“Conversely Northern Ireland has the lowest regional level of unemployment as well as the lowest support of vaping industry full-time employees.”
John Dunne, the Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association, said: “This is the first time that vaping’s contribution to the regional economies of the UK has been examined in such detail.
“It is clear that these economic benefits are not shared equally throughout the country but there is no reason that those areas which performed less well than others should always be that way.
“I found it very heartening that the report highlighted the positive relationship between regional unemployment rates and regional vaping industry employment.
“It is obviously a good thing that the sector can make such a big difference in this way but there is still much more to be achieved.
“We have made this ground-breaking report available for all stakeholders in the vape sector and sincerely hope that politicians up and down the country will use the data it contains to see how vaping can be better supported in their communities.
“We know that vaping has already transformed the lives of millions of adult smokers who used it to quit cigarettes and we now know that it can bring significant economic benefits to each and every region of the UK.”
The full report can be read here.