Has Big Tobacco backed the wrong horse?
Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of our vaping future slipped out, almost completely under the radar, last week.
It would have been easy to completely miss this gargantuan turn of events, buried like a smudge of an after-thought in the daily news agenda.
Refillable mods and e-liquid sales have officially overtaken cig-alike sales for the first time in the USA, according to a new analysis by Wells Fargo Securities.
This despite the wholesale takeover of 1st generation cig-alike companies by the behemoth that is the Tobacco Industry.
But what does it mean?
Could it be that despite their massive power, global influence and considerable wealth, Big Tobacco has backed the wrong horse?
Yes, that’s exactly what it means.
But what does it mean to us, the UK vaping community? And how will this ill-calculated tsunami of investment in the wrong technology – Big Tobacco’s insurance policy for their end of days – impact our world and our future?
Wells Fargo’s Tobacco Equity Research Report has noted that market growth of big tobacco-owned brands of e-cigarettes has seriously declined year-on-year yet the vaping market is still booming.
But Wells Fargo experts firmly believe that e-cig users are not giving up on vaping, rather, they’re switching to the new 2nd and 3rd generation refillable mods sold by small companies.
Furthermore, according to Wells Fargo experts the US vaping market, including cig-alike sales, is now worth roughly $2.5 billion, with $1.5 billion of that coming from customisable mods and e-liquid, compared to roughly $1 billion for 1st gen e-cigarettes or cig-alikes.
The future, writ large, right there.
The report suggests that the costs associated are not only some 30% less for a vaper who uses 2nd and 3rd gen refillable mods compared to cig-alike users but, crucially, that the end product is far superior.
And, here’s the big hit – Wells Fargo also believes that sales of these new gen refillable e-cigs will surpass and outsell traditional cigarettes within a decade.
Big Tobacco, if it isn’t already, needs to be very scared.
It’s pretty clear from the amount of political pressure being mounted by Big Tobacco that they’ve seen this writing on the wall…and they don’t like what they’re reading.
It seems they want to ensure that e-cigarettes are regulated in a fashion that means cig-alikes will be protected while other, cheaper, better value and more efficient vaping devices will be outlawed.
They’ve backed the wrong horse. The horse has bolted. Now they’re trying to shut the stable door on the rest of the industry.
We can’t let this happen. Can we?