"The demand for e-cigs has grown in Sweden now"
The petrol chain Circle K is investing in electronic cigarettes. During the summer, stores in Stockholm have been selling simpler models. And if sales go well, Circle K expects to launch e-cigarettes in the rest of the country within a few months.
"We have been following developments and thought it was a good time to launch the products." Says Marie Phililpsson, communications manager at Circle K to Vejpkollen.
E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and have been established on the Swedish market as an alternative to regular cigarettes for 10 years. Circle K has previously sold e-cigarettes in other countries. The company was one of the world's first major chains to enter the vaping market in the US back in 2013.
"We have offered this category of products in other countries within Circle K with success. We now believe that demand has grown sufficiently large in Sweden as well." Says Marie Philipsson.
E-cigs are a controversial product
E-cigarettes are a controversial product. According to many health professionals and researchers, the product has the potential to significantly reduce the risks associated with smoking and nicotine addiction. At the same time, the long-term effects have, by their very nature, not been clarified. Currently, researchers use analyses of the vapour content and its immediate effect on the body to assess the risks.
Independent studies indicate that both improving heart and lung health for smokers in the same way as quitting. However, vaping has a likely negative health impact on someone who has never smoked before.
Vaping reduces the risks of smoking
According to UK Public Health Agency smokers can significantly reduce the risks of nicotine addiction by switching to e-cigarettes. This is a recommendation that has led to a strongly growing market in the UK.
In contrast, in the US, where e-cigarettes are popular for both nicotine and cannabis use, the sales decreased compared to previous years. The reason, according to many observers, is the sixty or so deaths of road users since the start of the year. illegal THC products via road transport. Coupled with tough regulations, this led to a 15 per cent drop in sales in less than six months in the US.
18 year limit and tough legislation
The Swedish Public Health Agency has a restrictive approach till e-cigarettes and does not currently recommend vaping as a smoking cessation method.
E-cigarettes in Sweden are regulated under EU directives and the Swedish "Act on Tobacco and Similar Products". This includes requirements for age verification (18 years) and clear warnings on the packaging. At the same time, there are regular calls for tougher legislation.
And the research and debate on e-cigarettes is also influencing how Circle K views the products, according to the report. Marie Philipsson.
"The debate absolutely affects us. And we follow the laws and recommendations that exist. We have also chosen a simple product with a closed system, a so-called one-off podcast. We continuously follow the debate and gather relevant facts. Based on this, we constantly make new judgements and we are also prepared to make other decisions about the product if necessary," says Ms. Kane. Marie Philipsson.
How has the response to e-cigarettes been?
"The response has been good. So far it looks like customers have discovered the product in our range. But this is a test and we'll see how it turns out," says Marie Philipsson
When might Circle K sell e-cigarettes in the rest of the country?
"First we have to evaluate the test. Then we will ensure that the products have permanent solutions in our store concept before we can launch them widely. If the sales test is successful, we aim to offer the products more widely within a few months."