After surging between early 2020 and early 2021, the sales volume of vaping products at convenience stores and branded gas stations plateaued in late summer 2021, which was followed a slight decrease from the fall of 2021, reveals a study by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) unveiled Tuesday morning.

In raw numbers, we learn that during the last four-week cycle studied, i.e. in May 2022, 3.8 million vaping products were sold in convenience stores and gas stations under banners. By July 2021, sales had peaked, with 4.5 million products sold.

The INSPQ notes that its study has certain limitations. The sales volumes mentioned relate only to convenience stores and gas stations under banners, which represent only a quarter of convenience stores and gas stations in Quebec, i.e. 1,550 out of a total of 5,700. shops specializing in vaping are not counted either.

However, the picture is very partial and the findings simply reflect trends.

The INSPQ nevertheless observes that since 2020, the number of different vaping products has decreased significantly and is “tightening around capsule packaging”.

We are also witnessing “the disappearance of vaping liquids containing more than 20 mg/mil of nicotine following the federal government’s ban on the sale of these products in July 2021”.

This study does not look at the profile of consumers, but it observes that “the best-selling vaping liquid flavors are fruit and mint or menthol, while tobacco flavors rank third. »

The INSPQ recalls that the closure of non-essential businesses during the pandemic included shops specializing in vaping products, which extended from March 22 to May 4, 2020, then from December 25, 2020 to February 8, 2021. , convenience stores and gas stations, considered essential businesses, were able to remain open.

“The closure of specialty stores may have temporarily directed e-cigarette users to convenience stores and gas stations, as online sales are banned in Quebec. »

If the INSPQ is studying these questions, it is because “the widespread use of vaping products by adolescents and young adults is a public health concern. »

The INSPQ also notes that “although sales of disposable devices are still marginal, they should be watched, due to the observed increase and popularity of this type of device among adolescents in the United States since 2021.