Prague, April 26 (CTK) – The number of users of the e-cigarette has reached 70,000 in the 10.5-million Czech Republic since its introduction on the Czech market ten years ago, but their share among smokers is still low, compared with countries such as Britain, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.
The number of classical tobacco smokers in the Czech Republic is estimated at 2.3 million.
The e-cigarette market has reached a mild year-on-year growth. Most of the sellers who planned to quickly enrich themselves have disappeared from this branch, whose professional qualities have increased as a result, Robert Hrdlicka, head of the E-Smoking Chamber, is quoted as saying.
Almost 300 firms offer e-cigarettes and cartridges with e-liquid in about 1,000 shops across the Czech Republic.
Apart from the e-cigarette regular users, the number of occasional users is estimated at further dozens of thousands, the paper writes.
The Czech Republic, however, lags far behind the leading markets such as Britain, where the number of e-cigarette users reaches 2.6 million, which is 17.6 percent of all smokers, LN writes.
Nevertheless, the use of e-cigarette has doubled in the Czech Republic in the past five years, it writes.
Last year, the Czech users bought e-cigarettes and cartridges worth a total of 1.1 billion crowns, compared with the classical tobacco cigarettes sales worth 80 billion, LN writes.
The average price of a box of regular cigarettes is 84 crowns, while the price of the e-liquid with a comparable effect is 20 crowns, the daily writes.
Unlike Britain, the Czech Republic has neither a thorough study describing its e-cigarette market nor a study to clearly describe the health impact of e-cigarettes.
Foreign studies differ in their assessment of the health impact, as a result of which the Czech state’s approach to the regulation of the e-smoking business remains somewhat ambiguous.
The anti-smoking bill the lawmakers are to discuss in May, strictly bans all types of smoking, including e-smoking, in all pubs. Most recently, however, the Health Ministry said that e-cigarettes may be exempted from the ban.
Doctors and tobacco addiction fighters differ on how extensive the promotion and regulation of e-smoking should be, LN writes.
In the meantime, e-cigarettes have become a challenge to tobacco producers. Most of them, including the world and Czech leader, the Philip Morris concern, are already testing their own cigarettes that are not based on burning tobacco, the paper concludes.