E-Cig Industry Predictions For 2013

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With 2013 underway, I’d like to make a couple predictions about the electronic cigarette industry for the year to come.  Some might be in line with what most people expect while others might not.

FDA continues to debate regulation but fails to institute anything solid.

Although many voices expect 2013 to be the year for the FDA to hand down determined regulations for the e-cig industry, I’m just not convinced.  If the public hearing that the FDA held a few weeks ago proved anything, it was that they aren’t sure what to do or how to do it.  I anticipate a lot of discussion, but ultimately little decision.  Even if the FDA hands down a few token decisions, they won’t likely make many waves for an industry that ended 2012 with more momentum than most people realize.

Essentially, if regulation happens for the e-cig industry in 2013, it will be largely self-imposed and minimally detrimental to the forward momentum of industry growth.  The primary focus on regulation doesn’t even need to be on sales and claims.  Simply put, the quality of products (whether shipped in from foreign operations or mixed in a kitchen sink here) needs to be put under a microscope by people that can check for abnormalities, impurities, and precision.  The processes used to make the products also need to be checked.  Small homegrown e-liquid operations should be supported, but I for one would like to know hands are being washed and beakers are being sterilized.

E-cigs in movies and on TV become the real debate.

The biggest issue to face electronic cigarettes in 2013 will be the fight against restrictions or bans on the use of electronic cigarettes in movies and on TV.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was largely behind the decision to prevent cigarette advertising on TV and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gives tougher ratings to movies with depictions of smoking.  As electronic cigarettes penetrate movies and TV and become more broadly visible products, the debate (which has already started) will get heated.

Inevitably, organizations that brand themselves the protectors of our children and family values with begin raising hell over the very depiction of something resembling smoking on TV.  These groups are often loud and completely unwilling to accept facts — and who needs to when your stance stands on nothing more than moral high ground.  We may not see this as much in movies, but certainly the use of e-cig advertising is likely to raise a few eyebrows.  The decisions made here will have a profound impact on the visibility of electronic cigarettes.  Hopefully these decisions won’t be made flippantly.

The e-cig market share arms race truly begins.

The appearance of TV advertising is the first real strike in what will turn into an all out war in 2013 to become the brand synonymous with electronic cigarettes in the minds of American consumers.  Despite hazy regulation and the threat of bans, slanderous protesters, questionable research, and more, the biggest companies in the industry will take off the kit gloves and throw it all on the table so to speak.  The prize for the winner: a permanent piece of what Wells Fargo believes will surpass the tobacco cigarette market inside the next 10 years.

And why wouldn’t they go all in?  They should.  Things are moving so quickly that even the biggest companies involved like NJOY, Blu, Lorillard, R. J. Reynolds, V2, Green Smoke, and others will only get one serious chance to become the major player.  Similar comparisons can be drawn to the massive fights to become the search engine or the social network.  These companies may want to be the Google or Facebook of e-cigs… most of them may go the way of Ask Jeeves, Dogpile, Myspace, or Friendster.  By the end of this year, we may already know who.

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24 Comments

  1. Adam says

    Truly a fascinating article. I anticipated the points about the FDA but the MPAA aspect is fascinating too!

  2. slap_maxwell says

    Luckily, it’s been my observation watching and commenting on politics all these years that unless there is some major *thing* that happens, bureaucrats are slow to move and getting action done by committee is a very slow process (thank goodness in this case). Unless we see a spate of exploding batteries or reports of lead in e-juice from China, i agree this year will be quiet.

    The real enemies are the screwjacks you mentioned who whinge and complain about smoking *anything* when it comes to TV and the movies…but I disagree that they even have the moral high ground. there is little moral about trying to bully your position down people’s throats while ignoring facts and reality, no matter how many kids and kittens you wrap around yourself. 🙂

  3. Amanda says

    I am really excited to see what comes to the world of vaping in 2013.

  4. robovape says

    “FDA continues to debate regulation but fails to institute anything solid.”

    absolutely! and i hope we’re right on this, ’cause the only thing they could put together in a year’s time would be a ban… further on down the road, i think they’re going to drive most small juice vendors either out of the marketplace or into a new business model selling product without nicotine… i’d like to think that they won’t be so strict about it that it will require a prescription, but someone WILL try to get it passed… but it will be a while before they can really pull anything together on this…

  5. sandi says

    Waiting with bated breath. I hope for a favourable result as otherwise this could affect decisions in other countries.

  6. Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) says

    Hopefully the ecig industry will continue to grow. I am thinking if the industry is large enough and there are enough big players maybe the FDA will be less likely to try to shut it down. My biggest fear is that they will be banned. I would really hate to have to go back to smoking.

  7. TheCrookedOne says

    Great post…I to am looking to see what 2013 holds…ENJOYED!!!

  8. saboinia says

    >:) nice read and ty for the information

  9. unclerj says

    Great Article as always!

    Hopefully they won’t screw things up too bad when the come up with legislation just to justify their own sad existence.

    At this point, E-Cigs and vaping are off to a good start becoming a part of our culture.

    And if they start driving juice manufactures out of business, can anyone say black market or a lot of DYI?

  10. Mike says

    I think another prediction will be a whole lot of rebuildable resources that make use of common items that are easily obtainable. More so than they are already.

    I for one have started to mix my own juice thinking I will be able to vape what I want. I am not a big fan of mass produced consumables. It’s an organic way of thinking perhaps. If the FDA controls juice mixing I can only imagine what they will make producers put in it as far as preservatives and what not. I will mix mine from common ingredients. I am working towards no nicotine juice as well. I am hoping to be there this year.

    I enjoy vaping and I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon. I would really hate to see something this good ruined with government participation.

  11. Christian says

    I see no way they can slow it down. Everyday, more and more people are switching to vaping. My mom vapes now! If she can do it and enjoy it, others can as well. It will keep growing.

  12. Amanda says

    yes….. it will grow and get bigger

  13. Tommy says

    Unfortunately, I think that the one that will tilt the balance, will be the cigarette industry. They will lobby the politicians with all their power, (and they have a lot of it) to make the future of vaping, as dificult as possible.

  14. Lincoln Pennell says

    I have to agree I don’t see the FDA moving much on this topic in 2013 …. we could finally be breaking them down

  15. Kristina Pennell says

    As long as Lobbying is allowed Tobacco Will be winning a few politicians

  16. Sabrina Mitchell says

    ^^Agreed^^

  17. Steve Mitchell says

    Well I am hopeful for big things in e-cigs this year

  18. GhOsT DoGg 79 says

    lol @ politicians

  19. Philippe Caron-Boutin says

    good article

  20. hallucinoJEN says

    I agree as well. I do not like Blu’s ads on TV basically thumbing their noses against the ANTZ. I’m not a big believer in stirring the hornet’s nest. But, of course, BT has the money to fight them, if need be.

    I believe our biggest obstacle is keeping ecigs out of the smoking bans. Vaping in public can help deter these bans by allowing the public to experience how non-offensive vapor is in relation to smoke.

  21. Nathaniel says

    Hopefully the FDA doesn’t screw us in 2013!!

  22. brianwilson says

    yea I hope the FDA does not try any funny business…

  23. RCO67 says

    I think the best thing we can do is continued to present ourselves as considerate to others yet still not be self conscious vapers. Be respectful but not hidden.

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