Many consumers are using vapour devices to quit cigarettes as these items are perceived to be less harmful than cigarettes. The manufacturers and online sellers of vapour products have explicitly positioned and marketed their products as devices for quitting cigarettes, using testimonials to inspire others to try vaping.
Government attitudes towards vaping and vapour products remain largely negative and the desire for an official ban has been expressed numerous times at federal and state level. Several states including Punjab, Karnataka, Bihar, Kerala and Jammu Kashmir have already implemented bans on sales, with this negative stance based on the desire not to introduce further sources of addiction.
To circumvent the recent ban on the sale of ready-to-chew gutkha, chewing tobacco companies are now selling paan masala and chewing tobacco such as khaini and jarda in separate sachets instead of the previously popular ready-to-consume mixes, which are now subject to the official ban. Consumers thus simply buy paan masala and tobacco separately and mix these together to create DIY gutkha.
With no major players having yet emerged in vapour products, the category remains highly fragmented. Most of the distributors operating in the category purchase their products from Europe or China, with online platforms the key purchasing channels for end consumers.
DS (Dharampal Satyapal) Group continued to lead smokeless tobacco in 2017 due to the popularity of its two widely available zarda brands Tulsi and Baba and the company’s bestselling paan masala brand Rajnigandha. Industry sources have indicated that up to 65% of Rajnigandha sold in India is consumed in combination with zarda.
As vaping has increasingly captured the interest of Indian consumers, a huge array of new products is regularly launched, including e-liquids in an ever-increasing range of interesting and attractive flavours. Many consumers are looking for new and unique experiences and open vaping systems offer them the opportunity to experiment and impress their friends with flavours and aromas.
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