Even as hundreds of electronic cigarette brands were setting up shop in America years ago, a similar movement began both in the UK and in Europe. The interesting thing is that however similar the idea of this e-cig revolution was, there have always been differences in how the industry has developed in Europe compared to here in the US.
Both were exposed to new products at around the same time, like the advent of the disposable e cigarette and the mass influx of e cig tanks into the market. Yet they reacted to it differently and they each seem vape up their e cig juice by different means with a different approach to items such as electronic cigarettes without nicotine. The UK always seemed to fall closer in line with how things were going in the US, but not so for the rest of Europe. Here are what we see as some key differences between the e-cig movements in Europe an the United States:
Europeans Went For E Cig Tanks First
If you have been following the news, especially the ECCR news, you know that the trend is more consumers are picking up e cig tanks and e cig juice rather than 2-piece systems. This may be relatively new to us, at least on a mainstream level, but this has been the norm in Europe from the very beginning.
This is partly because of the legal hurdles they face (discussed below), but also because big electronic cigarette brands don’t have the same influence as in the US. So consumers in Europe went straight for open system e cig tanks rather than a rechargeable or disposable e cigarette of the cig-a-like variety. This key difference has had a huge impact in shaping the path of electronic cigarettes in Europe when compared to that of the US.
As much as we like to complain about our rights being impinged upon in America by various politicians and lobbyist groups, it doesn’t come close to what happens in Europe.
Without the libertarianism streak that we have here, Europeans have had to deal with a lot of mommy state type laws, so it isn’t a complete surprise that they have more legal hurdles in front of them. European ecig regulations have already limited the nicotine strength that can be sold. Many countries within the European Union have banned e cig juice outright, with some still allowing the import of electronic cigarettes without nicotine.
Some countries do let you purchase all the gear you need, but only enough for personal import. That means vape shops aren’t opening up in those countries and lots of smokers miss out on the opportunity that e-cigs offer.
Electronic cigarette brands are particularly upset about the new revision to the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TBD). This has riled up e cig juice seller Totally Wicked E-Liquid so much that they are challenging the new regulations in court.
Cost is Less of an Issue In Europe
This isn’t to say that Europeans are loaded with cash, although some countries definitely have a large middle class with more disposable income to spend. Still, overall cost seems to be less of an issue for e-cigarette consumers in Europe.
Part of this is due to the already low prices they have on e cig tanks and e cig juice. Another reason is the lack of big electronic cigarette brands that can seek out premium prices for items such as disposable electronic cigarettes. But the foremost reason why cost is less of an issue is because consumers in many countries are placing bulk orders to receive products they can’t get from within their borders.
A lot of Europeans resort to buying from foreign companies online in an effort to get all that they need. For this they are both willing to pay more, but also willing to buy in bulk to stock up.
Vaping Is Global
A lot of the progress in the e-cigarette industry is going on in America and that is certainly where our focus has been, but we do have to remember that this is a global movement.
Our vaping brothers and sisters all over the world are seeking the same thing we seek. This would be a reliable and low cost alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes that satisfies us.
The e-cigarette revolution crosses borders and ethnicities, making it important to understand what is going on in other places. We’re certain to have some influence on how things develop there, especially as FDA regulations approach, but we can also make note of what is going on over in Europe and other places. Together we can unite and become a much louder voice for the good of the entire global electronic cigarette community.