Survey reveals how Covid-19 lockdown affected nicotine habits in UK

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In a survey of 2,028 Brits with varying nicotine habits, vape brand blu sought to discover how the UK’s nicotine habits changed during lockdown. 

40% of respondents said that their nicotine habits have changed since the start of lockdown on March 16th. 

Almost 30% of respondents said they were vaping more now than before lockdown, whereas 19% said they are now vaping less, and 9% said they have changed where they vape. 

1 in 4 respondents (25%) said they have noticed their partners’ nicotine habits have changed since the start of lockdown, with 41% of these stating their partner has smoked or vaped more over the last 6 months.

These changes were not made immediately after news of Coronavirus broke. 

Instead, most happened when restrictions were put in place and as people adapted to the ‘new normal’ – 41% made a change when lockdown was introduced and 38% after a few weeks of lockdown. 

46% of all respondents who currently use nicotine products said that they have tried to be more considerate when in public since the pandemic began. 

Despite this, 68% of non-smokers or non-vapers surveyed said they had not noticed any change in vapers’ or smokers’ behaviour in public.

13% of these respondents also said that they believe the Government’s guidance during the pandemic has influenced their opinion of those who vape, despite more than half (53.5%) being unaware of that the UK Government’s official stance is. 

blu asked how people felt about vape shopping post-lockdown and found that many people are divided. 

“Still buying more online… the idea of queuing to enter individual stores is off putting – much too time consuming.”

Anonymous female, aged 35 to 44

“I always buy online. Better prices and free home delivery. Cannot beat it!”

Anonymous male, aged 45-54

“I’m back to mainly shopping in store. Buying double the amount of liquid so that I don’t need to go to the shop as quickly.”

Anonymous female, aged 45-54

Google Trends Data reveals that the number of vape-related searches spiked during the first week of lockdown and has remained up since mid-April which suggests that, at least for now, many people are shopping online instead of in store. This is consistent with internal sales data at blu, which have grown markedly since lockdown, especially for flavoured vape juices.

Pete Blackman, brand planning manager at blu, said:  “At blu, we’ve seen a big change in people’s nicotine use over the last 6 months since lockdown was first introduced and expect they will adapt again during October. 

“It will be interesting to see whether these changes stick long-term or whether these are short term effects. 

“For those who have adapted their buying habits, it seems the convenience of online purchasing and auto-ship delivery has great appeal.”