What Will the Vaping Industry Look Like in 5 Years?
The vaping industry has developed rapidly in the last few years – there are now more manufacturers and more users than ever before. As e-cigarettes have received increased media attention, they have also been subjected to a wide array of criticisms. The latest development is of course, the new regulations developed by the FDA.
The FDA regulations have been praised and criticized by figures both inside and outside of the e-cigarette industry. The new rules mean e-cig devices cannot be sold to under 18s, packaging must be childproofed and new testing will have to be carried out.. Some of these rules are basic common sense approaches but the testing element has been highly criticized. It is estimated testing procedures could cost upwards of a $1 million per item. With some manufacturers producing upwards of 50 products, the costs are likely to skyrocket. Like it or not these regulations are here to stay, but how will they change the industry over the next five years?
Yes, the costs of regulation will be a huge burden for many suppliers but it could be argued that the FDA regs will actually nurture growth. The market itself will grow which will mean e-cigarette companies should increase their sales and income figures. If anything, all the latest regulations are doing is advertising these products to a much wider audience. It could also be argued that greater legislative control will helping to secure a positive future for e-cigarettes through increased research spending.
As the industry becomes bigger e-cigarette prices will naturally change – just don’t expect them to go down. Regulation – particularly that proposed by the FDA – will cost manufacturers a lot of money. Most will pass this burden on to consumers. We don’t anticipate the price increases will put smokers off making the switch, but it will be noticeable for existing vapers.
Customization Will Disappear
Custom mods are incredibly popular but in the future companies producing custom rigs will simply not exist. The regulations call for all products to go through the pre-market tobacco assessment process. It is simply not feasible for customizing companies to do this for specialist one-off vapes. This is a sad loss to the market because without these companies, many of the current commercial mods simply wouldn’t exist.
The vaping industry will grow thanks to a number of factors but that doesn’t mean selection will increase. It’s quite feasible that some of the smaller manufacturers will simply be wiped out by these regulations. They will not be able to compete with larger companies, meaning small and boutique brands will go under and their products will disappear. While this may not seem like a good thing, it may actually help new vapers understand the market better as they will not be overwhelmed with choice.
Research is the real issue. We currently know a reasonable amount about e-cigarettes but we do not know everything conclusively. As e-cigarette companies grow, they will invest more in research. This will give us a much better understanding of e-cig products and will likely offer reassurance to the non-vaping public. This may not be completed in five years because what needs to be done is a much longer term prospect but it will have at least begun.
It’s possible that all of the effects outlined above will lead to an increase in the number of people vaping and a decrease in the number of smokers. Tobacco prices will continue to rise, meaning that e-cigarettes will still be a cheaper alternative. This coupled with the increased research spend will persuade more smokers to make the switch. The FDA may also contribute to the survival of the vaping industry because more vapers mean more sales.
We think these regulations will change the vaping industry and it could even be for the better in the long term. These rules may be the starting block for a smoke-free USA. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments and on our social media pages.
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