In 2012 less than ten million people used vape products globally. In three shorts years, 2015, that number surpassed 30 million active users. Fast forward to 2019, and we’re approaching fifty million active users. This is a fast paced industry growing by leaps and bounds every single year. There is no sign of slowing down, though legislators across the globe are starting to retailate and take notice of this new threat to big tobacco.
The FDA is signaling a ban on selling vape products in establishments that allow those under 18 years of age to enter. This act will remove these products from convenience stores, corner stores, and supermarkets. San Francisco is exploring a ban on vaping. Arkansas is looking to tax vape products over 65% effectively trying to increase vape product prices higher than buying a pack of smokes. The proposals against vaping are coming from everywhere. Make no mistake, big tobacco has taken notice of this meteoric rise in users.
Big Tobacco Enters the Fray
Altria stunned some in the business world with their $12.8 billion purchase or 35% stake of Juul. Juul holds roughly 70-75 percent of the ecig market share. There own comments from the press release showing they believe vaping to be less harmful then their current cash cow, cigarettes.
“We have long said that providing adult smokers with superior, satisfying products with the potential to reduce harm is the best way to achieve tobacco harm reduction.” – Altria CEO Howard Willard, Dec. 18
The FDA Feels Left Out
The other side of the coin, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has been leading a crusade against vaping in the United States. Commissioner Gottlieb has called youth e-cig use a teen epidemic and has accused Juul of being the cause for it. Altria, for what it’s worth, can only help the vape community moving forward, as they want to protect and produce a return on their investment, and they have the war chest of funds to not only hold off the critics, but to counter them. *Update: Commissioner Gottlieb resigned from the FDA, leaving his office within a month.
2019 Global Vape Users
Of the current 50 million ecig users, The United States leads the pack in shear amount of users. However, vaping has a very strong community of users in several countries and regions. There is an ever growing group of ecig users that have abandoned the health problems associated with cigarettes and are opting for a safer, healthier solution. Across the globe, The U.K. and China are two areas that have seen massive increases in market share for vaping products over the past five years. India also has the potential for massive growth. These trends should continue if things stay the way they are now.
Will the momentum slow down?
The number one way to slow the progress we have made over the past several years, is to let the legislators win the battle. If these proposed bills start being passed, flavored e-liquid get’s banned, online sales made illegal, huge tax increases on vape products, bans on certain establishments and even entire cities, we will rapidly lose the momentum we have earned. Do your best to spread the word on the benefits of vaping, and get out to the polls and vote on politicians that have our best interest at heart, saving lives and living healthier, not the pockets of lobbyists and cancer stick manufacturers.
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