E-cigarettes used for UK inflation

The growing popularity of e-cigarettes has seen them added to the basket of goods used to calculate UK inflation by the Office for National Statistics.

Sales of craft beer from speciality and micro-breweries will also be included thanks to increasing demand from drinkers and presence on store shelves, the statistics office said. Meanwhile, sat nav devices are being removed, partly because many drivers now navigate using smart phones, while some new cars have inbuilt devices.

The statistics office uses 703 items to compile the basket of goods and services to make up the Consumer Price Index. Changes in the index are used to measure UK inflation which is at an all-time low of 0.3% for January.

Changes in the make-up of the basket are often seen as tracking the shifting habits of the British consumer.

E-cigarettes have risen in popularity with a substantial number of smokers switching to them as they attempt to quit the habit.

Recent figures from a PwC study on the types of shops opening and closing last year on main streets also pointed to increasing demand as they boosted store openings in the tobacconist category.


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