The United States has seen the e-cig industry grow rapidly during the past year and it is expected to finish out 2013 with an estimated $1.5 billion in sales. Many people credit this boom with the aggressive advertising strategies that companies like Blu Ecigs and Vuse are incorporating to spread the world about their products. We’ve seen e-cig ads appear on television, in magazine spreads, and even on Nascar gear and cars. But this massive push for e-cigs could soon scream to a halt if the FDA passes new regulations on e-cigarettes in the United States.
E-cig fans are anxiously waiting to hear how the FDA will handle the call for new regulations. It was rumored that the FDA could make a decision this month and it could immediately cause big changes to how ecig companies handle advertising, sales, and even manufacturing.
So far, around 40 US states have joined the push for stricter regulations on ecigarettes and many politicians have publicly talked about a need for the FDA to step in and stop ecig advertising that might appeal to children. The ecig industry has responded rather graciously, despite all the negative press. In fact, one of the industry’s most successful companies recently spoke out about the need for FDA regulations. VMR, the company that manages V2 Cigs and Vapor Couture, took out a
full page ad in the New York times on October 14.
In the spread, VMR stated that they would support new regulations to insure e-cigs were held to higher quality standards. However, they urged people to do their research and learn that some of the rumors about e-cigarettes simply are not true.
VMR co-founder Andries Verleur anticipates the regulations will impact advertising strategies for all ecig brands. He said, “We do anticipate becoming a regulated industry, so it is very possible the way in which we advertise will change.”
In the mean time, ecig companies have the freedom to advertise without any restrictions and some companies are making the most of the opportunity before it disappears. In 1971, the FDA banned tobacco advertising on television and in 2010, they banned cigarette sampling practices. For now, e-cig companies can still use both of these methods to promote their products.
While the world waits to see how the FDA will handle the e-cig market, Victory Cigarettes Corp. is planning to pass out over 1 million samples across 50 U.S. cities. Logic ecigs is launching a huge marketing campaign in Manhattan bars and nightclubs. Blu eCigs is airing television commercials and Vuse is showing off their products in new locations.
Only time will tell if these companies are forced to change their methods for recruiting smokers to try vaping. Do you expect the FDA to start regulating e-cigs this month? How do you think that will change the e-cig industry?