Monday, 16 February 2015

Has the vaping industry finally turned the corner?

There are so many rumours, untruths and speculation regarding the vaping industry that is difficult to know exactly what is going on and what we can expect in the future. This is a business sector which has risen from the ashes at the turn-of-the-century to become a multibillion dollar sector in 2015. Despite the fact that turnover in the US is expected to top $2 billion during the next 12 months there is still some concern as to whether the industry is here to stay and whether it has finally turned the corner.

That may sound a little bizarre when you bear in mind the money invested in the electronic cigarette industry but this is not a normal sector, it attracts more than its fair share of critics and politicians are still lobbying against the industry.

The growing vaping community

While it is estimated there are in excess of 1 billion tobacco cigarette smokers across the globe the number of electronic cigarette users is but a fraction of this. Against this background it may seem rather strange to be comparing and contrasting these two industries but the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes has been exponential. The vaping community, often ignored prior to the turn-of-the-century, is growing in stature, growing in numbers and growing invoice. This is a community which is very passionate and very vocal about vaping products.

Have the tobacco companies thrown in the towel?

At the turn-of-the-century tobacco companies effectively ignored the vaping community as something of a niche market which would never hit the mass market. However, over the last few years we have seen a significant increase in activity within the industry and despite being ridiculed, written off and many hurdles placed in its way, tobacco companies are finally taking action. Over the last couple of years we have seen a significant amount of money invested in the industry, tobacco giants continue to empty their war chests and are looking to take a prominent role going forward.

So, rather than fighting the vaping industry from the outside it does seem as though the tobacco companies have now thrown in the towel and would rather fight the industry from the inside. How will this impact the vaping community going forward?

Are politicians next on the list?

Despite politicians and local authorities around the world continuing to talk down the industry it does seem as though slowly but surely they are recognising its potential. It may be some time before politicians "throw in the towel" as they continue to suggest the industry is targeting young children, there is already evidence of health issues and regulation should be strict in the future. There is a growing feeling that behind-the-scenes they are perhaps more interested in tobacco tax income, an important part of local budgets today, although perhaps this is a little unfair?

Consumers are beginning to trust the vaping industry, tobacco giants are looking to empty their war chests and while politicians and regulators may well take some time to "fall into line", surely they can't be far behind?

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