In line with other tobacco products, smokeless tobacco is expected to experience further contraction mainly as a result of the overall drop in prevalence of tobacco products among Canadians, stricter regulations and tax hikes. It is also important to note that years of restrictions regarding marketing and advertising of tobacco products including smokeless tobacco gradually resulted in a lack of visibility for these products, particularly among the younger generation.
Cig-a-likes as the cheaper, first generation of vaping devices still accounted for a considerable proportion of value sales within vapour products at the end of the review period. However, since 2011, the industry expanded, and innovation was concentrated in advanced vaping devices (which are perceived to be complex devices with higher retail prices).
Future performance of advanced open and closed vaping systems is totally dependent on government policy regarding these products. If they are treated like a safer alternative to cigarettes with fewer restrictions, then potential exists for them to flourish.
In response to the federal government ban on popular flavours like menthol, key suppliers of smokeless tobacco had a strategic focus on original tobacco flavour in their communications and new product developments. For instance, Rothmans Benson & Hedges Inc launched General Titanium Black - Black Portion which clearly highlights its pure tobacco taste without additional flavours.
The subsidiary of Philip Morris International launched Iqos in Canada during the last months of 2016 and made huge investments to target potential consumers since then. One of the key initiatives was to have dedicated retail outlets to sell Iqos exclusively which are called Iqos boutiques and are scattered all over the country as of April 2018.
China is a major exporter of vaping hardware; Chinese manufacturers especially originating from Shenzen look set to dominate Canada. Hardware does not contain nicotine and therefore is not restricted by current legislation and, thus, these products are becoming widely available.
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