U.S. Vape Market Surpasses $2.67 Billion in 2021, FTC Report Reveals

U.S. Vape Market 2021 FTC Report

The U.S. vape market experienced significant growth in 2021, with combined sales of cartridge-based and disposable e-cigarette products from nine leading manufacturers exceeding $2.67 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) third report on e-cigarette sales and advertising. The report, released on April 3, 2024, also highlighted a $370 million increase in sales between 2020 and 2021, and a $90.6 million rise in advertising and promotional spending by e-cigarette companies.

Cartridge and Disposable E-Cigarette Sales Increase

The FTC report focused on two main types of e-cigarettes: those with rechargeable batteries and changeable prefilled cartridges, and disposable devices that are discarded once the charge or e-liquid runs out. Sales of cartridge products rose from $2.13 billion in 2020 to $2.5 billion in 2021, while sales of disposable, non-refillable e-cigarette products increased from $261.9 million to $267.1 million during the same period.

Flavor and Nicotine Concentration Details Revealed

The 2021 report also provided insights into e-cigarette product characteristics, such as flavors and nicotine concentration. In 2021, 69.2 percent of e-cigarette cartridges sold or given away contained menthol-flavored e-liquids, while the remaining cartridges were tobacco-flavored.

Disposable e-cigarettes, which are not subject to the Food and Drug Administration’s flavor restrictions, saw “other” flavored devices accounting for 71 percent of all disposable devices sold or given away. Fruit-flavored and fruit & menthol/mint flavored products were the most popular subcategories, collectively making up more than half of all disposable e-cigarette devices sold or given away in 2021.

Advertising and Promotional Expenditures Rise

According to the report, e-cigarette companies’ expenditures on advertising and promotion increased from $768.8 million in 2020 to $859.4 million in 2021. The three largest spending categories were price discounts, promotional allowances paid to wholesalers, and point-of-sale advertising, which together accounted for nearly two-thirds of total expenditures in 2021.

Companies Take Steps to Prevent Underage Access

The FTC report also discussed the measures e-cigarette companies implemented in 2021 to deter or prevent underage consumers from accessing their websites, signing up for mailing lists and loyalty programs, or purchasing e-cigarette products online. These steps included the use of online self-certification to verify users were at least 21 years old and adherence to state laws requiring an adult signature upon delivery of e-cigarette products.

As the U.S. vape market continues to grow, the FTC’s report provides valuable insights into the industry’s trends, sales figures, and efforts to prevent underage access to e-cigarette products.

Sophia Bennett