Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Global Tobacco Trends 2024: U.S. Regulatory Boosts and China’s E-Cigarette Export Surge Signal Industry Revival


The global market for novel tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HNB), has shown promising developments from May to June 2024. Notably, the US regulatory environment has been increasingly supportive, and China’s e-cigarette exports in May 2024 surpassed $1.01 billion, marking a positive growth rate year-over-year. This resurgence in exports is primarily attributed to significant increases in export volumes, despite a slight decline in average export prices, which have stabilized after two years of notable declines.

E-cigarette Export Revival and Regulatory Optimism

Export Insights:

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, China’s e-cigarette exports to the United States surged by 34.9% to $340 million, reflecting robust demand within the US market. However, exports to the UK fell by 19% to $130 million, continuing a downward trend, albeit at a reduced rate compared to April. This reduction is largely due to the introduction of compliant, high-capacity, and screen-equipped innovative products. A UK ban on disposable e-cigarettes, set for April 2025, is pushing brands to accelerate the evolution of their product offerings.

Regulatory Developments:

Recent regulatory actions in the US, including the first approval of a menthol-flavored product under the PMTA, signal a positive shift. Additionally, the easing of e-cigarette bans in Australia suggests a reassessment of attitudes towards legal market operations, potentially benefiting legitimate e-cigarette brands.

Continuous Growth in Core HNB Markets and Increased Market Investment

Market Demand:

Import data indicates rapid growth in demand for HNB products in core markets like Japan and Germany. Japan reported a 51.8% year-over-year increase in HNB imports in April 2024, while Germany saw a 132.1% increase in March 2024. China’s HNB exports also showed positive trends in both volume and average price during April and May 2024.

Corporate Expansion:

Industry leaders are intensifying their efforts in HNB market expansion. For instance, Fimo International has been bolstering its presence in Ukraine and Egypt through product promotion, capacity expansion, and mergers and acquisitions. Similarly, Japan Tobacco International is ramping up its HNB investments and expanding into the Middle East and Africa.

Regulatory Context:

The regulatory landscape in the EU and parts of Southeast Asia is tightening, with Poland advancing a ban on flavored heated tobacco products in response to EU directives. Vietnam is also set to strengthen regulations on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

Sustained Growth in Cigarette Exports and Tobacco Leaf Trade

The resurgence in travel and China National Tobacco Corporation’s international market expansion strategies have led to significant growth in cigarette exports. May 2024 saw cigarette export volumes and prices rise by 26.0% and 15.8%, respectively. Tobacco leaf imports reached an all-time high in May 2024, with volumes and prices increasing significantly.

As we watch these smoke signals from the global tobacco market, it’s clear that despite the economic pressures, the industry’s resilience is more than just a puff of smoke. It seems the tobacco world is spinning its wheels faster than a hipster’s vape cloud at a coffee shop. So, what do you think about these airy trends? Spin us some of your thoughts and don’t forget to follow us at for more updates that are worth inhaling!

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