The vaping craze has officially arrived, exploded and cemented its place in the tobacco industry. With early 2014 industry reports of $2.2 billion for e-cigarettes, it's safe to say that this market isn't going anywhere any time soon.
The appeal of the smokeless, (possibly) safer alternative to traditional tobacco products is clear from a consumer standpoint. But what types of things should businesses in the vape industry be aware of moving forward? Is it even reasonable to expect the market to continue to grow at the rate it has in the last 2-3 years?
While the FDA has to this point wanted to remain out of the way, since early indications pointed only to the potential benefits of vaping over traditional cigarettes, it is expeceted in the middle of 2015, to set regulations on the product.
While regulations could potentially harm the growth of a healthier alternative, not regulating the industry could also cause potential future issues and deteriorate the agency's established regulatory power over the tobacco industry.
This could have tremendous implications for the growth of the market. However, if the traditional cigarette industry is any indication, at worst it will only slow the growth and not eliminate it.
Currently, the ecig market comprises less than 1% of overall tobacco sales. If it continues its recent trend of nearly doubling each year, however, it is well on its way to taking a sizable chunk out of the tobacco industry's pie.
E-cigarettes will likely never come close to touching traditional tobacco sales. With potential regulations looming, increasingly mixed or negative research on the health benefits and various other factors, the market's ceiling will be limited. However, it will likely continue rampant growth for the next few years, making it a very exciting market nonetheless.