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With Sales Down, Is The Vape Revolution Stalling?

By Tyler McCanus

Monday February 22, 2016
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The vape revolution is here and it’s robust, or is it? We’ve seen such startling growth from the electronic cigarette industry in the past 5 years, that its long term success was assumed to be assured. While it may have had some trying times when ecigs first began being introduced, it seemed like the industry had turned a corner. More than that, it blew by the corner and made a mad dash toward the finish. It busted through obstacles like Big Tobacco, even forcing them to get on board. But has something changed to slow down the vape revolution?

That’s the question we face these days as we are witness to headlines that tell us ecig sales aren’t growing anymore. This is akin to saying the vape revolution has downshifted to a lower gear. Maybe it’s even on cruise control. What’s next, neutral? Reverse? Okay, we don’t have to get carried away hear, but it certainly makes us scratch our heads over here when we hear that ecig sales are down. It doesn’t jive with what we see and hear. There is so much enthusiasm for ecigs and each day we get lots of interesting questions posed to us, in addition to all the incredibly positive feedback.

So what gives? Is there really something to this slowdown? Bonnie Herzog is is the Wells Fargo senior analyst who follows all things related to tobacco, and hence also vaping. She explained in a research note reported on here, “Though e-cig year-over-year pricing has been in persistent decline, we believe it is at least partially due to difficulty in capturing SKUs of the evolving vapor category and proliferation of vapors/tanks/mods (VTM) and refills, which tend to have lower retail prices.” All of that means she thinks it is more of a clerical error than anything else. That the way they track sales has some flaws in it, and they aren’t able to see the real trend of the vape revolution. We have to agree with Ms. Herzog, but we’ll take it one step further.


The Vape Revolution Is Not Televised

the vape revolution is onThey always warned us the revolution would not be televised, and boy were they right. The vape revolution is not being televised. That’s because the only sales numbers that appear to count are those from Vuse, Blu, or MarkTen. The Big Tobacco brands, that’s what is being tracked correctly and, in that case, they’re right.

The vape revolution has slowed there, because it was never there to begin with! This is a movement that is grassroots. It may be bigger now, but the heart of it still remains in that same place.

That’s why a huge part of the market isn’t being counted. The online ecig market is pretty much ignored, and that’s where so much of the progress is. Almost all of the top brands in our list are primarily focused on online sales, where they have grown to support so many ex-smokers. Now that big money has moved into trying to sell ecigs in liquor stores and gas stations, it’s like they don’t exist. But these are the companies that actually make the biggest difference, because they generally have the best products and thus retain their customer base. That’s not what you are seeing from the “big” new brands and maybe that’s why growth has slowed according to these numbers.

But, rest assured, the vape revolution is not slowing down. It continues to grow and evolve. We see more products all the time, and tanks and mods aren’t even being tracked at all in these data releases. It just isn’t being televised, simple as that. What we know is that people are excited. Women especially have played a big role, with last year’s data out of the UK showing that they comprised 53% of vapers out there. Really, it’s everyone that is part of this. Women and men, Republicans and Democrats, big city folk and country folk. All of them.

Smokers of all shapes and colors are looking for an answer and the vape revolution has been able to give that to them. It’s true that we are entering a new phase of this movement. Potential FDA regulations are still casting their shadow as we wait for them to be finalized. Big Tobacco has thrown its hat in the ring, trying to influence the industry as much as they can. There are lots of obstacles, but there’s also a lot of optimism. The future holds so much potential for this device to change the lives of millions more. So excuse us if we don’t take these numbers at face value. We don’t need a TV to tell us about our revolution!




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