Smoking on rapidly declining, but the era of vaping is really just getting started. As Americans are increasingly aware of the dangers of tobacco use, thousands are abandoning their old smokes in favor of electronic cigarettes. As a result, the ecig market has experienced explosive growth over the past five years. Now, experts are predicting that we have only seen the beginning stages of ecig domination. In fact, some Wall Street analysts have predicted that ecig sales will overtake cigarette sales within a decade. The most recent market reports project ecig sales will grow 24.4% per year until 2018.
While ecigarettes are rapidly growing, Euromonitor International Data reports that tobacco cigarette sales have declined 30 percent in the past ten years. As sales fall, the big tobacco companies have turned to electronic cigarettes to off set the shortage. Lorillard was the first to join the ecig movement by acquiring popular Blu ecigs in 2012. After having great success with this first ecig venture, the tobacco giant bought UK-based SkyCig in 2013.
Reynolds American also decided to test the ecig waters in 2013 with a limited release of Vuse electronic cigarettes. After initial success in the test market, they plan to offer the Vuse line nationwide by the end of this year. Altria soon followed with the MarkTen ecig brand. Initially, Altria limited their ecig products to Indiana, but they plan to expand to cover more US regions in 2014.
The recent surge in ecig sales is a good indicator of the future, according to the latest Research and Markets report. With expected annual growth of nearly 25%, the vaping industry is on track to set new sales records each year. Analysts attribute rapid growth to strategic product development and aggressive marketing from vendors like NJOY, Vapor Corp, LOGIC, and Lorillard. The recent report also named 12 other top brands that are key players in the market: Altria, Ballantyne Brands, British American Tobacco, CB Distributors, FIN, Gamucci, Imperial, Nicotek, Reynolds American, Vapestick, VMR Products, and Zandera.
As consumers are more motivated to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes are a convenient alternative. The recent reports predicted that the biggest challenge would be potential regulatory changes. If the FDA imposes stringent regulations and manufacturing standards, it could jeopardize the rapid growth of the ecig industry. Even in the face of regulation uncertainty, the future looks promising for electronic cigarettes. Do you expect ecig sales to hit the forecasted growth margin? What is your sales prediction for ecigs in the next four years?