Why Vaping is Not Just A Fad
The dictionary definition of a fad is described as “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived”. When vaporizers first appeared, they were regarded as little more than a novelty, something trivial of passing amusement that few expected to thrive. Yet, in less than ten years, the e-cigarette market has seen formidable growth, developed a scene and subculture of its own, and has become the subject of universal debate and discussion. By 2013, awareness of e-cigarettes in America grew to 80%, while almost one in ten adults had tried products themselves.
However, not everyone is convinced that e-cigarettes are here to stay. In the past twelve months, the market’s growth has shown indications of reaching a plateau, and some are taking this as a sign that decline will follow, and the so-called fad will disappear. But even if expansion does stabilize, does this really mean that vaping is a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon?
The first commercially successful e-cigarette was created in 2003, and came to prominence on the American market in 2007. Since that point, the demand for vaping devices and electronic alternatives in comparison to ordinary cigarettes has been stratospheric, and up until this last year has shown no sign of slowing down. Americans make up the largest portion of worldwide e-cigarette sales at 43% of the $8 billion market, as of 2015, shown by data from Euromonitor International. Across the pond in Britain, the usage of e-cigarettes tripled between 2012 and 2014.
The Development of Vaping
Product developments and a decline in the number of tobacco smokers have all been cited as reason for the ongoing popularity of vaping and e-cigarettes. The market has come a long way since the simple, disposable cig-alike models that were the early examples. Now, a plethora of rechargeable devices and mods are available, in a mass of styles, shapes and colors, making the vaping experience something that can be personalized. E-liquids can be bought in a selection of flavors and nicotine strengths, catering to every taste and requirement.
The number of Americans who identify as traditional tobacco smokers has seen a decline that has run almost parallel to the success of electronic alternatives, and despite harsh regulations imposed by the FDA and misconceptions in the media, there are still many experts who recognise e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to ordinary cigarettes. The World Health Organization noted that whilst research and evidence is still in its infancy, use of e-cigarettes is likely to help some move away from smoking, or at least cut down on their consumption. In the UK, the attitude towards e-cigarettes is that they are a viable solution to cutting the number of smokers, and their use should be encouraged as a method to slash the number of avoidable smoke related deaths and illnesses. More than 15% of Americans still smoke, which indicates there is still a large potential market for e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
The influence vaping has had on entertainment and culture is another indicator that their presence will be lasting. Denver, Seattle, Virginia Beach and Tampa are some of the cities topping Vape News Magazine’s most vape friendly destinations, with each boasting numerous bars and clubs that welcome the vaping community with open arms and over one hundred shops selling both e-liquid and hardware. A handful of airports including McCarran International in Las Vegas have provisions for vapers, and even London’s Heathrow airport has a dedicated vaping zone that opened in 2013 to meet the demands of the many travellers that pass through its gates daily.
By 2021, the global vape products market is expected to reach over £32 billion, according to research on market size, growth and present landscape. Recent figures have suggested that this year the market may not continue the previous breath-taking pattern, but industry experts such as Director of Policy at Ash Hazel Cheeseman claim it’s still too early to say whether the industry has peaked.
How do you see the future of the e-cigarette market progressing? Let us know in the comments, or on social media.