How Vapor Products Will Change the Tobacco Business
Since tobacco has continued to suffer under heavy government regulations, major tobacco firms have began funding the research and development of vape products. People are overall smoking less and beginning to switch to vaping, a new nicotine alternative.
What is Vaping?
Many people have switched from buying cigarettes to purchasing new vapor products. "Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the water vapor produced by an electric device called vaporizer or e-cigarette." These products appeal to customers over 18 years old because you do not have to light them, they do not have the typical lingering smoke smell, produce no ash, and come in hundreds of flavors. They are also much more discreet and are often marketed as tools to help smokers cut back on their tobacco intake. Here are the different type of vaporizers:
Non-Nicotine Vapor Pens, these are a small product containing no nicotine designed to fit in your pocket. They are often available in a variety of flavors lasting around 500 puffs and are not refillable.
E-Cigarette or Nicotine Vapor Pens; these disposable products emit doses of vaporized nicotine that can then be inhaled. These have become increasingly popular because they come with the nicotine liquid already inside of them. Depending on the brand and size, e-cigarettes can last anywhere from 500-700 puffs and are only refillable if the brand also sells replaceable cartridges.
Portable Vaporizers; this is a device is non disposable and much larger than a vapor pen. These vaporizers must be re-filled, but allows the user to combine different flavors and varying levels of nicotine.
Since portable vaporizers have the ability to be refilled with a liquid called vaping juice, it is important to understand what it is made of. Most juices are a mixture of water, food grade flavoring, a choice of nicotine levels or zero nicotine, and propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG). Propylene glycol is often found in foods like ice cream, frosting, or even soft drinks, and vegetable glycerin is used as a sugar substitute.
When deciding which juices to sell in your c-store, make sure you are carrying a variety of brands, nicotine levels, flavors, and bottle sizes. The more options you give your customer the more likely they are to buy from your store.
Big Tobacco Changes Lanes
For years cigarettes produced higher sales than any other type of tobacco product such as cigars. Smoking cigarettes became a huge trend in society convincing many to take up the habit. Over the last ten years as more research has come out about the health risks, the government has done its best to deter the general public from taking part in any tobacco related substances. Because of this, Tobacco companies have suffered and with the new wave of vapor products, many are switching to the production of e-cigarettes in order to ensure a future for their businesses.
One of the most popular vapor brands VUSE is actually a subsidiary of the tobacco giant Reynolds America. VUSE is unique because it offers pre-filled tanks that customers can buy and replace, versus Blu e-cigarettes that require you to dispose of the entire device once it has been used.
FDA Regulations Affecting the Tobacco Business
Since 2009, the government has regulated the sale of tobacco and tobacco related products. Vapor products are no exception. New guidelines are frequently announced that affect both vapor and traditional tobacco that affect both retailers and customers. These laws are created to make the products less accessible and attractive to younger customers, and the FDA believes that retailers play a pay in protecting children and adolescents by complying with all current and future regulations.
Changes to Come in 2018
Many of the newest regulations are still involving tobacco products. This is making it harder for retailers to sell causing many to start adding vapor products to their inventory. Here are some of the regulations that have been announced and will take affect beginning August 10th, 2018. Retailers will not be able to:
- sell, distribute, or display cigarette advertisements for tobacco or roll-your-own tobacco products without a warning statement on the package
- distribute cigars or display advertisements for cigars without a health warning statement displayed on the package
- sell cigars individually, and not in a product package without posting six required warning statements within 3 inches of each cash register
- sell or distribute hookah or pipe tobacco without a health warning statement displayed on the package
- display advertisements for hookah or pipe tobacco without a health warning statement
Since vapor products still contain nicotine, the FDA has issued these regulations also taking affect August 10th, 2018. Retailers will not be able to:
- sell or distribute e-cigarettes or other ENDS without a health warning statement on the package
- display advertisements for e-cigarettes or other ENDS without a health warning statement
- sell, distribute, or display advertisements for nicotine gel or liquids without a health warning statement on the package
Good News for C-Stores
As e-cigarettes and other vaping products become more popular, retailers are actually gaining more opportunities for profits. Not only are e-cigarettes typically double the price of a traditional carton of cigarettes, but they also have many different additions and accessories. C-store owners can sell recycling kits, carrying cases, car adapters for charging, and USB adapters for charging on electronic devices in addition to the vaporizers and juices.
Overall, tobacco continues to undergo more government regulations and public critique that may cause it to come to an end in the near future. As tobacco products fade away, big companies are funding the research to look into the health effects of e-cigarettes. As a potentially healthier alternative that carries a range of new products, c-stores are looking at a bright and profitable future selling vape related items.