New Technology: Vapers need to know
What is the future of vaping?
Just how far will it go concerning technology?
A research team from Oldenburg working on Human-Computer Interaction is developing tools to better understand vaping and provide insight.
What we can be sure of in this fast-moving e-cigarette sector is that any prediction of what will happen is going to be wrong.
But broadly it’s going to be amazing in the years ahead we are very sure.
Things will be overshadowed by regulation, with the Tobacco Products Directive coming into force in Europe and the U.S. FDA’s deeming regulations likely to appear.
But we think despite this, there will be increased growth in the sector, driven by improved consumer confidence in the category and better products coming onto the market.
Yes, the regulations will be far from perfect, and yes, they will be burdensome, particularly for smaller companies, but the costs of compliance will be a fraction of the tens of millions predicted by some.
While consumer confidence is at an all time low, with more consumers believing that e-cigarettes are “as dangerous or worse than” combustible cigarettes compared to previous years, the sector needs to step back and accept that it has an image problem.
This is particularly true amongst the very group who could benefit most from the category: those smokers who have yet to try an e-cigarette.
Having “compliant” product in the market, however imperfectly the regulations are implemented, will drive acceptance and growth in the category, and consumer behaviour is a much stronger force than regulatory pressure can ever be.
It’s not all good news of course: some of the major threats still on the horizon include blanket marketing restrictions as countries try to block all forms of advertising of the products, distance-sales restrictions obliging customers to only buy in-store, and burdensome tax.
We will also see a huge increase in the amount of science and data published on e-cigarettes, which can only lead to more understanding and better acceptance of this exciting new product category.
Contrary to what some commentators have been saying this year, the sector is not over by any means – it’s just starting.
Without a doubt it is going to be the most tumultuous movement in the industry’s history.
We are going to finally see a rule from the FDA attempting to regulate electronic cigarettes under their tobacco jurisdiction.
For us that are ex smokers and this product literally saved our lives that is a tough acceptance.
We for one struggled many years to break away from the tobacco chain addiction and all of sudden we find ourselves back in the same perception as we did when we smoked combustible tobacco (many of the last few years hiding behind a dumpster).
On one hand we are glad that we will finally see a rule so we know where to begin our fight.
Many states took action simply because they did not want to wait for the federal regulations (and their cash registers drained) that have caused many small businesses troubles and have disrupted the chain of distribution.
Laws unlike others can be enacted quickly and via special interest groups with huge pockets can pass legislation damaging to the vaping industry such as laws passed this past year.
But now our focus once again shifts to an unfair classification and pre market application review for a product that was never intended to be regulated as such.
Simply put the FDA is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
We predict the future will be filled with litigation, the biggest we have seen so far and hopefully a much needed outcry by us the users of the products that may have taken advocacy not so seriously in the past, especially since the consumer choices will be limited or flat out eliminated as predicted by many other experts based on the proposed deeming rule.
The key to any successful advocacy movement is organization.
No such person or business in our sector is such a powerful force that they will effect change themselves.
So brace for it fellow vapers, We have to go on the offensive.
A concentrated effort by industry and consumers that overlooks a micro view of business and taking on a macro perspective of how to unify and work as one to overcome bad policy.
The future will be the battle of vape politics.