Unless you have been living under a rock, you can’t fail to have noticed the rise of e-cigs and vaping. There are now vaping stores in every town and city and millions of people own a vaping device. In 2012, when the e-cig industry was in its infancy, there were around 700k vapers. Today, there are 9 million in the U.S. alone. It is a meteoric rise, but e-cigs are still attracting controversy.
Many people turned to e-cigs in their effort to quit tobacco smoking. A study of 12,000 adults carried out by Action on Smoking and Health reported that 1.5 million vapers are ex-smokers. It’s clear that many people have turned to e-cigs as a way of giving up harmful tobacco cigarettes, but some believe that the interest in vaping has peaked.
The survey found that one-third of smokers had not considered using e-cigs, despite evidence suggesting e-cigs are far less harmful to health than conventional tobacco products.
Global Demand For E-Cigs Rockets
Global demand for e-cigarettes has exploded since 2012 and the industry is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2025, the market is likely to see an increase in online share trading as investors look for growing markets .
Consumers can now choose between increasing numbers of brands and new manufacturers are appearing all the time. It’s also interesting to note that the tobacco industry is showing an increasing level of interest in e-cigs.
When e-cigs first entered the market, the industry was populated with small-time, independent manufacturers. It was a niche market and the big players weren’t interested. But, as time went on and it became clear that e-cigs were not going away, Big Tobacco sat up and started to take notice.
Big Tobacco Enters The Market
In 2014, Imperial Tobacco forged an agreement with Reynolds American to buy the Blu Ecigs brand and gain entry to the lucrative U.S. e-cigs market. In 2015, Japan Tobacco acquired Logic Technology, another leading e-cigs player in the U.S.
Some of the Big Tobacco brands are now launching their own e-cig brands. VUSE is owned by R.J. Reynolds, which is a subsidiary of Reynolds America. British American Tobacco is one of the largest tobacco companies in Europe ‘ it owns the Vype brand.
Big Tobacco is now dominating the e-cig market and smaller independents can’t compete. They are even funding research studies into the health effects of e-cigs versus tobacco cigarettes.
This move is causing concern among anti-smoking organizations. Big Tobacco has released several research studies that reveal e-cigs are less harmful than conventional studies, but health charities are worried that none of the studies prove e-cigs are 100% safe to use.
FDA Regulations Could Harm E-Cig Market
Until 2015, the e-cig industry was not regulated. However, that soon changed. New regulations introduced in the U.S. ban sales of e-cigs to under 18s and state that manufacturers must adopt a retroactive market approval process for their e-cig products.
This pushes small independents out of the marketplace, as only Big Tobacco can afford the estimated $2 million it will take to satisfy FDA guidelines.
There is an ongoing fight to save the e-cig industry in the U.S., as many recognise e-cigs do help reduced harmful cigarette consumption. If the e-cig industry loses the fight, it could be game over by the end of 2018.
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