According to the 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet, more than seven million people die each year because of diseases linked to tobacco smoking. More than six million of these deaths are attributed to direct smoking while about 890,000 are caused by exposure to secondhand smoking.
In terms of tobacco production, the U.S. ranks number four in the world in 2016. Despite the high taxes on tobacco and cigarettes, the industry remains to be profitable. In the same year, the U.S. produced 629 million pounds of tobacco with a value of $1.27. Most of these were processed into cigarettes. About 258 billion cigarettes were sold in the same year or approximately equivalent to $52 billion. This total U.S. cigarette revenue is a conservative estimate based on $5 per cigarette pack with 25 cigarettes (20 cents each).
It’s no surprise that, in the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 15.5 percent of Americans 18 years old and above are smokers. This translates to at least 37.8 million adults. Approximately 480,000 people die each year because of smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer and heart ailments. The same report indicated that the percentage of those who smoked 20 to 29 cigarettes daily declined from 34.9 percent in 2005 to 28.4 percent in 2016. However, the number of people who smoked 10 cigarettes a day rose from only 16.4 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2016.
Globally, the market for tobacco is valued at $770 billion, of which almost $700 billion account for the cigarette market (one billion adults) consumption. Smokers worldwide consumed approximately 5.6 trillion cigarettes in 2016.
Decline in cigarette smoking
After reaching its peak in the 1960s, the daily per capita rate of the sales of cigarettes has significantly declined since then. However, since the global population has been increasing, the actual number of smokers has been increasing. Proportionally, more smokers are quitting because of the increasingly prohibitive cost of smoking and also because of the health risks associated with it. Former smokers and those who are struggling to quit the habit are turning to alternatives like nicotine patches, e-cigarettes, and vapes.
A cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals—43 of these are known carcinogens and 400 compounds are toxins. The main advantage of turning to alternatives is that all other harmful chemicals are significantly reduced or totally eliminated.
The Food and Drug Administration, through Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, announced last year its initiative to reduce the nicotine content of cigarettes to non-addictive levels. During last year’s Global Nicotine Tobacco and Nicotine Forum held in New York, the top tobacco executives accepted the challenge. One CEO likened it to sending a man to the moon but said it would give impetus to the manufacturers.
Current technology like e-cigarettes or vaping provides the means to significantly reduce the harm of cigarettes. It is a matter of widely applying the technology and remarketing tobacco in different forms. Meanwhile, tobacco industry giant Philip Morris announced that it would spend $80 million on a foundation that helps people who want to quit smoking for a span of 12 years. However, the company said that it will not stop those who want to transition to nicotine alternative products.
Among those alternative choices is vaping. According to a 2017 report, there are at least nine million vape users in the United States. Euromonitor International indicates that 43.2 percent of the total number of vapers in the world are in the U.S. By simple extrapolation, we can conclude that there are at least 20.8 million vapers in the world.
In the U.S., vapers spend more than $3.7 billion annually on various products. Meanwhile, Canada has an estimated market of around 308,000 to 946,000 vape users. The lower estimate is based on the population of users who vape every day. The higher estimate is based on the population that includes those who occasionally vape.
Both the smoking and vaping market could be radically changed by cannabidiol (CBD) alternatives. CBD and cannabis products are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes and nicotine-based vapes.
Diamond CBD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PotNetwork Holding, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN), offers a wide range of vaping tools such as vape pens, additives, liquids, and tanks. All its vape products are rich in pure, unfiltered and solvent-free CBD, which mixes well with other vape liquids.
Diamond CBD is one of the leading CBD-focused firms today. Aside from a varied selection of CBD-infused vape products, the firm also offers edible gummies, oil, pet products, and supplements.
The CBD-based cigarettes and vapes may not be able to totally replace the well-established cigarette and nicotine-based vape companies, but the CBD industry can become a significant player. It is estimated that the global CBD market could grow up to $3 billion by 2021.
CBD-based vapes or e-cigarettes are better alternatives because of the medicinal properties of CBD. This compound has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Products derived from it can be used to manage pain.
Some cannabidiol studies also suggest that the compound has a significant positive effect on managing anxiety and depression. What is best about it is that using CBD products as an alternative to smoking cigarettes can actually help in combating addiction. The compound acts on CB1 receptors as a weak agonist. It inhibits the enzyme that breaks down anandamide (FAAH). This biochemical action reduces the addictive effects of nicotine.