5 Factors That Will Have a Direct Effect on the Future of Vapor Cigarettes
E-smoking enthusiasts at EverSmoke discuss how certain issues will impact the future of this exciting smoking alternative
In the last 5 years alone, vapor cigarettes and e-smoking have grown in both sales and wider acceptance. In 2014, the industry as a whole expects to break $2 billion in sales. By 2017, this number could reach an eye-popping $10 billion.
As more people learn about this smoking alternative, the more vapor cigarettes will move from a niche product to the mainstream. We're already seeing these devices pop up in brick-and-mortar stores alongside their "analog" predecessors.
While the industry has made great progress in both technology and revenue growth, there are circumstances that will have an effect on vapor cigarette users and the industry as a whole.
Factors that will decide the fate of vapor cigarettes include marketing (especially any restrictions to marketing), FDA rulings, the industry itself, public health opinions and public use restrictions.
Continue reading for more background on each of these factors...
Concerns about vapor cigarette marketing
Marketing vapor cigarettes, or rather how companies market their products, is a big focus. Manufacturers and retailers have to be real careful about the wording they use in their marketing campaigns and web content. For example, a company cannot claim their product can be used as an aid to stop smoking unless the product is specifically regulated as such by the FDA using stringent guidelines. However, this ruling does not prevent companies from saying "smoking alternative".
While these proposals may dictate how vapor cigarette companies can advertise on TV, radio and billboards, it could also keep them from sponsoring events like concerts and sports teams. In addition, the rules, which are pretty vague, could also prohibit the sale of branded items (i.e. shirts, hats and other apparel).
FDA rulings about vapor cigarettes
One of the most important factors that will decide the future of e-smoking and vapor cigarettes will be how the FDA decides to regulate and treat them. The FDA has already set in motion rulings that call for vapor cigarettes to be treated like tobacco cigarettes. This includes (for starters):
- Who can purchase vapor cigarettes
- Product standards for production
These two regulations make sense. Tobacco products are only legal for adults 18 years and older. Since vapor cigarettes contain nicotine just like traditional ones, their sale should be restricted. Moreover, no reputable company or salesperson would sell to a minor in the first place. Likewise, making sure production procedures are safe also makes sense.
E-liquids will become the largest focus. Many are concerned about flavorings attracting children (the current reason why menthols are the only "flavored" tobacco cigarettes on the market). In addition, there are concerns over the danger that e-liquid containers could pose to children. Most likely, there will be child-resistant or child-proof packaging in the future —neither of which should pose concern or problems for e-smokers.
Vapor cigarette industry concerns
The biggest concern among the industry itself is whether FDA rulings/regulations will demand that products be removed from store shelves. Thankfully, experts within the industry do not expect this. The ultimate hope and goal is that vapor cigarette producers and the FDA will come to an agreement that allows companies to sell their products online and on store shelves provided the age of the buyer is verified.
Public health opinions about e-smoking
Health opinions will also have a major impact on the future of vapor cigarettes. There's no doubt about the dangers of traditional smoking. Literally thousands die each year from diseases brought on by traditional cigarettes. Although vapor cigarettes do not contain the "carcinogenic" (...or cancer-causing) substances that traditional ones do, some worry that excessive regulation could dissuade those looking for an alternative.
David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation, sums it up best: regulators must have a gentle touch. Abrams recently stated that regulators need to use "the Goldilocks approach". Furthermore, "the regulation must be just right. The porridge can't be too hot, and it can't be too cold."
Restrictions on e-smoking in public
It's understandable that non-smokers and the public at large still don't know much about these smoking alternatives, and how they leave no odor. Despite the fact that e-cig vapor immediately evaporates (...since it's water-based), many communities throughout the U.S. are lumping vapor cigarettes with traditional cigarettes and placing restrictions on where users can enjoy their device.
Like other regulations, better public understanding of e-smoking and vapor cigarettes will help. However, to avoid confusion and confrontation, many businesses do not allow e-smoking since it looks so similar to the real thing.
Both current and potential e-smokers need to be familiar with laws regarding vapor cigarettes. The easiest way to do this is to visit our blog on a regular basis for any news about vapor cig regulations and new research studies.
Browse our available starter kits and other e-smoking accessories, or continue browsing our knowledge center and blog to learn more about this exciting alternative.