5 Reasons Why Big Tobacco Just Don’t Get It….

The vaping industry has grown rapidly in the past few years thanks to new and innovative companies, but now Big Tobacco thinks they can muscle in and take over the whole industry. Tobacco companies have been around for a LONG time, and they’ve had it pretty easy. They sell an addictive product that they know their customers need and they pump them out as fast as they can, for as much as they can. The tobacco cigarette has basically been the same for the past 60 years, with little to no innovation made or even needed. Then along comes e-cigarettes…. cheaper, thousands of flavours and product combinations and evidence-backed health benefits. So what does Big Tobacco do? They do what they’ve always done, lobby to kill the vaping industry and when they see that isn’t working, they buy up a few companies to make sure they have some skin in the game. But that doesn’t seem to working too well for them either and here’s why we think that is:

Vaping Isn’t Smoking, It’s a Completely New Market

One of the things Big Tobacco don’t seem to understand is that vaping isn’t smoking. Ever since advertising was banned, Big Tobacco have never REALLY had to fight for customer acquisition, they have millions of people hooked on their products and have been for a long time. They just bulk manufacture their products as quickly as possible, for as cheap as possible and then sit back and collect the profits. Vaping on the other hand is a highly innovative industry, with new products, flavours and accessories entering the market every day. It’s hard for the sleeping giants to keep up with the nimble vaping industry, God love them.

Customers Want Choice

It’s evident from recent surveys that vapers value the choice of flavours and products on the market. Even if you just take 1 flavour, mint for example, there can be hundreds of variations of mint eliquid; various strengths, different manufacturers, different sources of ingredients, different recipes. Big Tobacco don’t really do choice, they have a small selection of products and that’s the way they’ve always done it. This mindset has clearly been impressed upon their e-cigarette offerings as well. Take Blu for example, an e-cigarette company which is owned by Imperial Brands PLC (formerly Imperial Tobacco Group PLC), they offer 5 flavours, each with 2 strengths. Yes, that is a whopping 10 variations on offer to their customers. So what if you’re a Blu customer and want a very low nicotine eliquid or something as simple as apple flavour? Well you’re shit out of luck I guess. The irony is that Blu don’t even offer any other colour options in their kits either, they all come in blue black.

They’re Living In The Past

Back in the early days of vaping there wasn’t a lot of choice and e-cigarette kits were a bit more expensive than they are today. That’s why 1 of the most popular ways to try an e-cigarette was to buy a disposable or cig-a-like e-cigarette. If you’re wondering what a cig-a-like is, it’s those small, cigarette sized ecigs that use cartridges pre-filled with eliquid. And if you’re saying to yourself  “WTF, do they even sell those anymore?”, the answer is yes, yes they do, most often sold by tobacco companies #facepalm. VUSE for example, the number 1 brand of disposable e-cigarette in the US, which is owned by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was still in the red as of 2015, making them no profit. If that’s the number 1 in a country as big as the US, I’d hate to see the balance sheet of number 2. And that leads us on to point number 4….

There Isn’t Enough Profit In Vaping

Tobacco companies are used to big profits year-on-year. Like we mentioned earlier, they don’t have to do much, just manufacture their products and ship them out, maybe spend a few million on lobbying some politicians. The vaping industry on the other hand is a highly innovative and fast growing market, money needs to be spent on R&D, customer acquisition, online promotion, and more. E-cigarettes also offer a far lower profit margin than tobacco cigarettes. Never mind the fact that e-cigarettes are an electronic device, which can and will have faulty units which will be returned and replaced.

Educating Customers

It’s easy to buy and use tobacco cigarettes, it’s a bit more complicated when it comes to buying and using a vape product, which is why a majority of customers tend to buy from an ecig shop. Cigarettes can easily be sold at a convenience store because they’re easy to use, just light one end and away you go. E-cigarettes by comparison have a lot more variables to take into account. Your e-cigarette kit has a tank, a battery which could be adjustable and normally an atomizer coil that needs replaced every so often. You also need to know what strength of nicotine is suitable, making sure it’s not too high or too low. Petrol stations and convenience stores are in the bulk sales industry, they buy and they sell, they don’t want to have to spend 15 minutes with a customer explaining the benefits of 1 kit over another. Perhaps this is why Big Tobacco only sell simple products in a limited range, who knows. One thing’s for sure though, in every vape shop there’s probably hundreds, if not thousands of combinations of e-cigarette kits and eliquid and we take the time to educate each and every customer before they make a decision on purchasing. Imagine asking a sales clerk at your local Spar what the VG percentage of each eliquid range is.

So there you have it, that’s our rundown of why we think Big Tobacco companies are no threat to vaping. What do you think of our list? Do you agree or do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Global E-Cigarette Market Set To Be Worth £25 Billion In The Next 4 Years

Beige Market Intelligence have released an assessment and forecast of the global e-cigarette market and reported that the global worth is set to exceed £25 billion by 2021, with the UK expected to contribute over £4 billion to that number. The vaping industry has grown an outstanding amount in the past few years and although it looks set to slow down a bit in the future, it seems as though the e-cigarette industry is being taken seriously when it comes to killing off the tobacco industry. BMI reports that the high growth around the world is mostly thanks to the popularity in the US and Europe.

Source: City A.M.

Spanish Study Confirms Effectiveness Of E-Cigarettes

Anesvap, a Spanish vaping association, conducted a survey of nearly 10,000 e-cigarette users and have just released their findings. The data is inline with countless other studies from other studies around the world and confirms the effectiveness of e-cigarettes. The main findings were as follows:

  • 99.6% of vapers in Spain are adults
  • The average e-cigarette users’ age is 38.5
  • 79% of users are male and 21% are female
  • The average user has been vaping for 1.83 years
  • 96.33% of users smoked cigarettes before taking up vaping
  • 91.85% of vapers successfully quit smoking tobacco thanks to e-cigarettes
  • 89.89% of users started vaping for health reasons
  • 92.43% of users detected improvements in their health
  • 85.81% stated that flavours were important to quit tobacco
  • The average nicotine strength when first starting vaping was 11.42mg/ml, whereas the average now is 4.04mg/ml

This study is interesting and very relevant since the recent news about some US cities banning flavoured eliquids.

Law Firm Challenges San Francisco Flavour Ban

Last month we published a story about city supervisors in San Francisco voting to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and eliquids. Well it seems as though that ban has rustled the feathers of a few different entities, as a law firm has filed a referendum to stop the ban in its tracks.

Joel Aurora, a lawyer from Nielsen Merksamer law firm, represents a couple of tobacco manufacturers and a number of vaping advocacy groups. Aurora has 30 days to get 19,040 signatures from San Francisco voters in order to suspend the ban and give supervisors the opportunity to review the bill. They can decide to either repeal the ban or put it to voter in the June 2018 election.

We’ll keep you posted if there’s any more development on this story.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle 

UK Government Says: Let Employees Vape At Work

After seeing the good news about the potential de-regulation of parts of the new law regarding e-cigarettes, it seems as though the UK government has gone even further and suggested that employees at work should be allowed to vape.

The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking. However, the evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. The government will seek to support consumers in stopping smoking and adopting the use of less harmful nicotine products. Public Health England has produced guidance for employers and organisations looking to introduce policies around e cigarettes and vaping in public and recommend such policies to be evidence-based.

PHE recommends that e-cigarette use is not covered by smokefree legislation and should not routinely be included in the requirements of an organisation’s smokefree policy. In addition there has been the development and very recent introduction of novel tobacco products that claim to reduce the harm of smoking. We welcome innovation that will reduce the harms caused by smoking and will evaluate whether products
such as novel tobacco products have a role to play in reducing the risk of harm to smokers.

 

This is the strongest sign of support that the UK government has shown for e-cigarettes thus far. The strong support is without a doubt backed by the recent Public Health England study showing that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Gum Manufacturer Wrigley Sues Eliquid Company

Wrigley, the manufacturer of iconic chewing gum products, has filed a lawsuit against eliquid manufacturer Chi-Town Vapers.  The lawsuit relates to 2 flavours Chi-Town Vapers sell, namely Joosy Fruit Gum and Dbl Mint, both of which bear a striking resemblance to Wrigley’s trademarked chewing gums, in name and packaging. In the lawsuit Wrigley’s filed, it states the following:

Rather than develop their own brand names for their products, defendants have chosen to market their e-liquid for electronic cigarettes using the trademarks of various other well-known companies, including Wrigley’s brand names, without authorisation or license.

The company also stated that Chi-Town Vapers use trademarks from several other companies, including Red Bull, Mountain Dew and Skittles.

Source: New York Post

UK Government To Revise Vaping Regulations After Brexit?

The UK government has released its Tobacco Control Plan for England this week. The Tobacco Control Plan’s objective is to reduce the use of tobacco and therefore reduce harm. The main points of the TCP are to reduce the number of underage smokers to 3% or less, reduce the amount of adult smokers to 12% or less and reduce the amount of pregnant smokers to 6% or less.

It’s all pretty straight forward, until we get to page 27, where the government clearly states that there will be a rethink towards current Tobacco and Related Product Regulations (TRPR), the new law which was brought into force based on the TPD regulations from the EU. Here’s a quick recap of what the document says in relation to the TRPR post-Brexit:

Over the course of this Tobacco Control Plan, the government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. We will look to identify where we can sensibly deregulate without harming public health or where EU regulations limit our ability to deal with tobacco.
In particular, the government will assess recent legislation such as the Tobacco Products Directive, including as it applies to e-cigarettes, and consider where the UK’s exit provides opportunity to alter the legislative provisions to provide for improved health outcomes within the UK context.
The government will continue to embrace developments that have the potential to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use and as such we will consider if the current regulatory framework strikes the right balance, and whether there is more we can do to help people to stop smoking.
We remain committed to a comprehensive and robust tobacco control strategy which protects the population of England.
At a national level the government will:
Review measures and activities which are affected by the UK’s exit from the EU, including the identification of de-regulatory measures that further health objectives.

It seems that the UK government recognises that some of the new restrictions imposed by the TPD regulations are unnecessary and are actually detrimental to their plan for reducing tobacco use. We look forward to seeing how this progresses once we exit the EU.