What Experts Predict for Electronic Cigarettes in 2014
The New Year is here and we anticipate that 2014 will be a big year for the e-cigarette industry. In the past twelve months, we’ve watched a lot of conflict unfold as legislators debated what to do with electronic cigarettes. Some cities embraced ecigs as a great alternative to tobacco cigarettes, allowing smokers to vape anywhere without restriction. Other cities decided to ban ecigs despite compelling evidence that it could have counterproductive results for public health. As we move into 2014, many experts have already weighed in with predictions for what the ecig industry could encounter. Take a look at some of the predictions below and then leave a comment with your own ecig predictions for the 2014.
Science Will Play a Bigger Role
In 2014, Dr. JF Etter predicts that the ecig industry is going to place a major emphasis on science. He expects new legislations to roll out around the world and ecig fans will have to speak out to protect their current vaping rights as law makers challenge the industry and push for bans. Despite coming regulations, Dr. Etter remains confident that even bans won’t fully quench the vaping craze. “Even if e-cigs are tightly regulated, it will be impossible to ban all unregulated products. The phenomenon is just too large, and you cannot stop a tsunami just by waving a piece of paper,” he said. Ultimately, it will all boil down to science. The companies that rely on science to create better ecig products will be the ones to survive and even thrive in the 2014 market.
Explosive Sales Will Continue
Financial analysts have also offered some 2014 predictions for e-cigarette companies. Depending which report you read, 10-year growth is forecasted at rates ranging from 15% to 50% of tobacco shares. More specifically, analysts expect the e-cig industry to reach a value of $110-360 billion within the coming decade. Citi Bank projected sales to reach $3 billion by 2015 while Wells Fargo expects sales to top $10 billion by 2017. Financial powerhouse Bloomberg Industries has already predicted that e-cigs will eventually take over the market, making more sells than tobacco cigarettes.
Expect More E-Cigs From Big Tobacco
With such explosive growth, it’s not surprising that many big tobacco companies are already experimenting with vaping products. In 2014, experts predict that we’ll see even more big tobacco involvement in e-cigarettes. Lorillard kicked off this movement by taking over Blu E-Cigs and they are already reaping massive financial rewards for the acquisition. In 2013, we saw British American Tobacco unveil Vype e-cigarettes in the UK and Reynolds rolled out Vuse E-Cigs in the United States. Altria jumped into the market cautiously with MarkTen ecigs. After a small successful test market in 2013, they plan to expand sales in the coming year. Even Philip Morris is getting in on the ecig action with plans to develop an e-cig in 2014.
Only the Best Will Survive
With so many products on the market, China First Union predicts that quality will matter more than ever before. Forget the basic starter kits on infomercials or cheap disposable ecigs in convenience stores. This year, people will do their homework and look for brands that offer both performance and reliability. Now that consumers know more about e-cigarettes, they will expect better quality. That means companies will have to really focus on producing solid products if they want to build a loyal customer base and survive in a cutthroat market.
The FDA Will Take Action
We’ve waited for years as the FDA threatened to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products. In 2013, regulations were scheduled for October, but the US government shutdown stalled the process. In the coming year, the FDA will likely release some sort of regulation for ecigs or at least get the ball rolling in that direction. The Ashtray Blog did a series of interviews with ecig bloggers and all seemed to agree that the FDA would make a move in 2014. Blogger “Steve” predicted that the FDA would act, but it would leave most of the decision making up to individual states and cities. “The FDA will release something, though it seems like they might be leaning on states to do their dirty work with support form the CDC. I expect the American battle to be mostly a battle of attrition that happens at the state and city level. It will be a matter of endurance to see which side can keep fielding activists to attend meetings and lobby politicians,” he said.
Make Your 2014 Ecig Prediction!
So now you’ve heard from the experts, but we want to hear from you. What do you expect from the e-cig industry in 2014? Leave a comment and share your predictions.