Airport smoking lounges are becoming fewer and farther between worldwide. German e-cigarette manufacturer Gamucci has taken advantage of the lack of nicotine at Heathrow Airport in London by opening up a “vaping zone” where passengers can use e-cigarettes and sample Gamucci’s products.
E-cigarettes a booming industry
Recent studies have shown that the global e-cigarette market is now worth $2 billion, with the UK, US, Russia and Germany being the largest consumers. Gamucci, though engaged in a highly competitive industry, has pulled ahead as the fastest growing e-cigarette brand in the UK. For Gamucci, opening a space at Heathrow was a no-brainer. With millions of passengers a year, it was the perfect fit for a global brand now providing e-cigarettes to customers in 55 countries.
Vaping vs smoking when traveling
Whereas conventional cigarettes produce a tarry and stinky smoke, e-cigarettes emit nothing but vapor. Gamucci and other e-cigarette manufacturers claim that removing combustible materials from the equation leads to an experience that is significantly safer than traditional tobacco use. However, within many airports e-cigarettes are subject to the same restrictions as standard cigarettes. At Heathrow, it is illegal to use an e-cigarette anywhere except Gamucci’s vaping zone in terminal four. Though the devices fall into a gray zone legally, with many advocating either the ban of e-cigarettes or at least restrictions matching those on conventional cigarettes, most airlines in North America and Europe have put the kibosh on smoking either in their planes or in the waiting areas. Travelers hoping to vape on board should check with their airline.
Surveys say . . .
It looks like Gamucci has made a smart move by collaborating with Heathrow on its vaping zone. A survey of 1,000 travelers conducted by Skyscanner found that as many as 57% of travelers wouldn’t object to other airports setting aside vaping zones, with 70% of smokers favoring the idea. Fewer people (40%) are okay with vaping zones on board planes; however, 64% of smokers said they would take advantage of e-cigarette usage areas while in the air.
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