Tue 3 Jan 2017
Well 2016 was certainly an interesting year. We had Brexit, terrorists seemingly about to obliterate us everywhere we went, The Donald, and a whole mess of celebrity deaths including Bowie, George Michaels and Carrie Fisher. Good times, good times indeed.
But what about vaping in 2016? The industry has been moving at such a pace that that mod you bought three weeks ago is already about as out of date as using leeches to cure your bout of syphilis. The amount of products that have been released is just staggering. We’ve seen the rise of RDTAs, the explosion of ‘fancy’ coils such as claptons, aliens, hives etc. and mods with so much power they could keep the street lights in your town going for about 8 months.
However, it hasn’t all been merry-go-rounds and pony rides. Both the European Union and FDA have unzipped their trousers and taken a giant leak on the vaping bonfire this past year, with the TPD and deeming regs about to have a massive impact on the industry in 2017 (we’ll get to that). Also, bad behaviour from both vapers and e cigarette companies have put vaping in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
So what does 2017 hold? We decided to take a look at the industry and predict how it will change over the next 12 months.
1: Growth in DIY e liquid
As a DIY e liquid company we thought we’d start here. The aforementioned TPD and FDA regulations will heavily limit e liquid in the EU and pretty much banish it from the shelves in the United States. However, flavour concentrates, PG and VG are unaffected by regulations in the EU and nicotine shots have started to hit the market to fill the void left by concentrated nicotine. If being limited to 10ml bottles and having a far reduced choice of flavours doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, then DIY e liquid is the way to go. Also, we’re likely to see many small and medium e liquid companies moving into selling concentrates of their most popular flavours because they cannot afford the testing required for the TPD.
2: A reduction in the number of new products
In the United States, August 8th was the day that new products could no longer enter the market place due to the FDA regulations. Similarly, the TPD will come into full effect on May the 20th in the EU meaning that it will be harder to get a new product on the shelves. Why? Because all products need to be tested and notified, then it’s still 6 months before a product can be released. All of this adds up to far fewer tanks and kits coming in from China and elsewhere. However, mods by themselves are not capable of vaporising nicotine and are therefore outside the remit of the EU regulations, meaning that there should still be plenty of new ones being released.
3: The emergence of a black market
Up until the past few months there have been pretty much no restrictions on importing and selling vapour products. For us in the EU, this changed on November 20th. However, it hasn’t stopped companies from outside the EU happily shipping in non-compliant products to both consumers and retailers. We predict a rise in this black market activity in 2017 as the restriction on products comes into full effect. Will it be stamped out? On current evidence, probably not. Customs is unable to identify and stop everything that it should, and plenty of illegal goods enter the EU everyday without detection, so why would e cigarettes be any different?
4: Market consolidation
Sooooo many vaping related businesses have popped up in 2015/16. This is a good thing, right? It’s a sign of a healthy and growing industry. However, the electronic cigarette business is not immune to market forces. There are a handful of very big players in the market such as Innokin, Aspire, Evolv etc. Then there are those that have made a very big names for themselves recently (Geekvape and OBS spring to mind). These large companies are very well established in the industry, and are likely to snap up the more successful smaller companies in the coming months and years. It’s the same for physical and online shops too. Every up and coming industry has a large number of players at first, then the most successful companies devour their smaller competitors and become the established faces of the industry. We expect this to start happening in the near future.
5: More positive research
Let’s end on a positive, shall we? There has been plenty of research done on e cigarettes in the past year and much of it has been encouraging. These has, of course, been research that has produced worrying findings about vaping, but much of this has been down to testing outside of normal conditions. There has also been research that has been, dare we say, a tad malicious. Anyway, we predict that 2017 will be even better when it comes to positive research about e cigarettes and the huge benefits they can have for those who continue to smoke.
Do you have any predictions about vaping in 2017? Let us know at [email protected] .
Further reading: A Black Market Future for Vaping