Challenges and Potential of the Vaping Market in Latin America

By | 15 December, 2020

Vaping is a global phenomenon in terms of the fact that everyone is now aware of it and there’s a global market for vaping products. However, it’s still very much a local issue since it’s subject to a variety of local laws and regulations that vary not only from country to country but region to region.

Latin America is unique in its approach to vaping and its culture around vaping and that’s reflected in both the challenges and the potential of local markets.

The size of the market

At this point, the size of the vaping market in Latin America is somewhere around 0.12 billion $. That’s a rather small percentage of vaping marketing in general, making Latin America account for 1.2 percent of the global market. It’s projected that these figures will rise in the years to come, but the market is still underperforming somewhat.

Both the speed of the growth and the overall share of the market aren’t representative of the overall customer base that the vaping industry has in Latin America. That is to say, there’s room for the market to grow by a lot and fast.

Consumer numbers

It’s not always easy to calculate the potential consumer numbers for vaping. It’s mostly treated as the whole number of smokers in the country or region. That’s not always a good measurement since there are some smokers who will never move on to vaping (mostly older ones) and there are some vapers who never smoked (mostly younger ones).

The number of smokers is relatively high compared to other regions of the world, and that’s mostly because of how young the population of the region is. 20 percent of the whole population are smokers at this point.

The concerns

The scientific community is somewhat concern about vaping even though it’s safer than smoking. The practice is oriented towards younger users. That is being translated into governmental policy on the matter and it’s starting to affects the markets since there are a lot of restrictions and regulations involved.

This is especially important in a new market such as that in Latin America. That’s because businesses aren’t allowed to start their operations, while in other parts of the world they aren’t allowed to expand and build on them. It will be a complicated journey for this emerging industry.

Where sales are allowed

Some Latin American countries already allow for sales of e-cigarettes with some restrictions mostly in terms of age and the area in which they can be used. The countries include: Aruba, Dominican Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay

At this point, only Mexico bans e-cigs altogether, but the country is moving towards a more liberal policy since it sees the vaping market as a way to help their efforts to cut back on smoking which is a big health care issue for the region.

A chance for growth

All of this is to say that there’s a chance for growth in Latin America. The customer base is there, smokers are already used to tobacco in this area of the world and there’s a lot of young people that want to be a part of the worldwide trends. Some countries already allow for vaping and their practices can be used as a model.

The problems facing the industry will be the same as they are in other parts of the world with a few local flavors added to the mix, such as the issues with patent laws that allow for too many knocks offs, of vaping brands.


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