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Ecigs Made In China A Problem With Regulations Looming

By Tyler McCanus

Tuesday June 16, 2015
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China is an economic power when it comes to manufacturing. Ecigs made in China make up the larger part of the evapor industry, Ecigarette brands have made China a base of production since the beginning, but with FDA ecig regulations looming they appear to have a problem. The shifting tides of the ever-growing electronic cigarette market always made for a perfect match with Chinese production.

Of course it isn’t only ecigarettes that have grown accustomed to using facilities and labor in China for their needs. There are ecigs made in China along with millions of other products. Most everything these days that is mass-produced has parts, if not all, of their makeup coming from the enormous Asian nation. We aren’t only talking about cheap ecigs that we would expect to see a “made in China” label, but even high quality ecigarette brands make some sort of a base there.

Nobody should really be surprised as to the Chinese influence on the ecig market and the number of ecigs made in China. After all, it was the Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik that is credited for creating the modern electronic cigarette. We also know that cigarette smoking is hugely popular in China, where 28% of the adult population is identified as smokers. This has created a massive health problem in China, with a whopping 1.3 million people dying every year due to tobacco-related diseases. One of the victims of tobacco was the father of Hon Lik and, along with his own addiction to cigarettes, this spurred the development of viable alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Millions of ex-smokers around the world have this Chinese-based development to thank for giving them that chance to make the switch to vapor. What followed Lik’s invention was a long process that led to a rapid expansion of ecigarette brands, almost all of which were ecigs made in China. Even with some of the biggest ecig brands being based in the US or UK, the primary source of their goods was still China.

Early on this included many cheap ecigs that simply were looking to turn a profit off of sudden rise of interest in vaping. These companies gave ecigs a bad name in general, and especially the idea of buying ecigs made in China, where no FDA ecig regulations were on the horizon to verify safety.

Ecigarette Brands Wary of FDA Ecig Regulations

FDA ecig regulations will finally sort out the tempestuous relationship between the FDA and vapersThat, in fact, is the sticking point and a major problem for ecigarette brands who are looking to play the long game and stick around as the billion dollar industry grows even bigger.

FDA ecig regulations are bearing down on current and prospective ecigarette companies and making them think twice about every move they make.

As business owners, the heads of these companies have to be sure that the time and money they are investing in any particular venture pays off.

Will their efforts be worth it when regulation of the electronic cigarette industry finally comes down officially? We’ve been hearing and reading about such FDA action for quite some time, but even with mixed signals we know that it can’t be too much longer until they do in fact take effect.

What may end up happening is that all of these ecigs made in China will have their operations scrutinized to an entirely new level. For those that make cheap ecigs and have just been looking to turn a few bucks, it won’t matter. They’ll take their profits as long as they can get them and walk away with however much they earn after they can no longer participate due to those new FDA ecig regulations. But as we mentioned earlier, it isn’t only cheap ecigs that make their production base in China, it is virtually all of them.

Even better known ecig brands started out having their ecigs made in China and a lot of them have stuck to that model. Those are the companies that are going to have to be smart about this change, and some of them already are on the move.

One such example is of V2 Cigs, which was highlighted in this article for their attempts at bringing a new level of safety to their production in China. Their model, according to CEO and founder Jan Verleur, is Apple. “Apple is the greatest example of supply-chain management in China. They have such a low defect rate because the equipment that sits on the Foxconn line…is owned by Apple, not Foxconn,” Verleur said in the Wall Street Journal online report. Verleur looked at his own company’s progress and remarked on how they have evolved, saying “We went from a very sophisticated technical buyer to a very sophisticated manufacturer.”

Ecigs Made In China Must Up The Standards

Now thisEcig brands must up their standards in China or leave is a key distinction because with so much of the early manufacturing being run by the Chinese themselves, a lot of ecigarette brands were simply buyers really.

As more serious players came into the market, more insisted on affecting the design and level of production for their own purchases.

This was especially important to prevent defects, which although a reality in anything mass-produced, still had a long ways to go for it to reach acceptable levels.

“When we entered the industry, the products were horrific,” Verleur explained. “There was more than a one in three chance, basically, that the ecigarette product you were buying was defective, that it would spill eliquid into your mouth, or have some other problem.”

Does that sound like the type of thing the FDA would at all be okay with as they look to address safety concerns revolving around electronic cigarettes? No, this is exactly what they would be worried about and this will have an impact on how the FDA ecig regulations are structured in their final form.

This is the foreseeable problem that companies like VMR, the owner of the V2 Cigs brand, are trying to take action to avoid. Their thought is that by creating a higher level of production with better quality control, they can have their products pass any sort of test the FDA could come up with to limit the sale of ecigarettes. That’s how they intend to get around the China problem, at least for now.

Other companies are taking a different approach, as we have seen a string of electronic cigarette companies bringing their production to the US. This could be viewed as a bigger step to take, given that costs would inevitably rise compared to the cheap labor in China. The assumption here is that the extra costs will pay for themselves as either a. they won’t fall under the same restrictions as China-based competitors or b. that their selling point of being “made in America” will increase their revenue. Whether either will lead them to surviving as the industry moves to the mainstream, is yet to be determined.

We should expect that other companies would make their own calculations and follow up moves in the near future. Everyone understands the FDA ecig regulations will change things, but nobody is quite sure how. This ‘ecigs made in China’ problem affects the majority of the electronic cigarette brands, so in that way it is an equalizer at least. For the consumer, this could very well bring about good change as the industry moves to higher levels of quality as well as the beneficial impact it has in bringing in new jobs to the economy.

Our only real worry is about our freedom of choice being restricted, but the hope is that better product safety will enable greater freedoms for consumers, not less. The move away from China is just beginning. How it ends will greatly affect the industry as well as vapers themselves.

Tyler,

Team ECCR

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