Germany's e-cigarette industry continues its boom unabated. Sales of appliances, liquids and accessories are estimated to be 810 million euros this year, 40 percent higher than in 2022, the Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment (BfTG) announced at the Intertabac trade fair in Dortmund. Sales had already grown by 2022 percent in 40.

In the case of classic cigarettes, on the other hand, the trend continues to go downhill. Although sales have increased somewhat so far this year, this increase will shrink to zero by the end of the year, according to the tobacco industry association BVTE. In 2022, a decline of 8.3 percent has already been recorded. The BVTE also expects a minus for 2024.

The boom in e-cigarettes is also due to the fact that vaping devices are now available at many more points of sale than before – whether petrol stations, supermarkets or kiosks. "Almost everywhere where there are tobacco cigarettes, there are also e-cigarettes," said BfTG boss Dustin Dahlmann.

E-cigarettes contain significantly fewer harmful substances, which the industry uses as a selling point – according to their presentation, smokers can significantly reduce the health risk if they switch.

However, doctors warn of the consequences. "The aerosol from e-cigarettes is most likely significantly less harmful than the smoke from tobacco cigarettes, but it is harmful to health," says the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

Disposable e-cigarettes, which end up in the trash and cannot be charged or refilled, are also causing criticism. A massive environmental pollution. According to the BfTG figures, such disposable items are still a mass business, but their share of the total evaporator market fell from 40 to 30 percent in one year.

Alternative products are also not sustainable: In the case of reusable e-cigarettes, the electrical appliance is kept and recharged, while the cartridge (pod) with the liquid is thrown away - this causes plastic waste.