7 Big Themes in Vaping for 2023

Our annual vape predictions post brings experts from across the world to predict the future of vaping. The breadth of their experience, combined with unique viewpoints from around the world, brings invaluable insights – but also rather long.

So for those of you short of time, here you’ll find a summary of the key themes in vaping for 2023…

1. Nicotine salts will start to replace disposable devices
Disposable devices have been the hot theme of 2022. They have helped many finally stop smoking – but are both expensive and bad for the environment. Imran of Doozy Vape Co. sees this changing in 2023, as more vapers buy nicotine salts and use them with reusable devices. 

2. The WHO will attack vaping (again)
Get ready for some acronyms! A number of contributors predict that at COP (Conferences of the Party) 2023 the WHO (World Health Organisation) will use the FTC (Framework on Tobacco Control) to try and prohibit or further regulate vaping. 

The COP comes into much criticism for being secretive, undemocratic and using cherry picked NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) to support their agenda. The FDA also came into criticism for being influenced by outside forces and suppressing dissent. 

3. Misinformation will cost lives
‘Vaping is as bad as smoking’. That’s a lie that’s still repeated, and it’s particularly a problem in regions such as Africa, which rely heavily on the WHO’s research more than other countries. 

“This is a missed opportunity; it ignores life-saving technologies and keeps people in bondage and within the perimeter of smoking,” says Chimwemwe Ngoma, who covers Africa for us this year. 

4. Vape regulations and unintended consequences
Many of our predictors forecast that vaping regulations – especially those concerning flavours – would lead to what Clive Bates called ‘unintended, perverse consequences”.  

Charles Gardener expects higher smoking rates as a result, while Cédric Rijkers from Hexa Vape expects a large increase in the black market – leading to a decrease in product safety and an increase in youth vaping. 

Jim McDonald of Vaping 360 highlights the development of a grey market for illegal devices in the UK, while Brent Stafford discussed the contraction of the legal industry and a flood of illegal and unregulated devices from their legal alternatives. Jose Becerril from Euromonitor concludes that growth prospects for vaping will be scaled back – with HnB (Heat not Burn) taking its place in many countries.  

5. Despite all, there is progress
The Philippines has embraced sensible regulation on vaping, and there is even progress in India. Samrat Chowdhery highlights “greater awareness of risk-reduced products among [Asian] authorities, higher consumer base, along with stronger supporting scientific evidence”. 

Dr Glover, while warning about the negative impact of taxes and regulation, is overjoyed to see “the enormous public health gains these products are delivering.”

6. Consumers are key
Konstantinos Farsalinos highlighted that attacks on flavours are due to regulator ignorance. He argued that it is crucial that “consumers raise their voice in an effort to explain to regulators what is at stake when making decisions about this public health issue.” 

7. Harm reduction will, as always, eventually win
Many advocates in the vaping world are new to harm reduction. But Dr Alex Wodak of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association has been through several rounds of harm reduction wars. He predicts, as in previous battles, that tobacco harm reduction will win – first slowly, then suddenly. 

The UK is likely to continue to lead the way. Louise Ross reports on how attitudes are in this country changing – and how vaping is finally becoming mainstream.