Welcome to the first e-Cigarette News Roundup of 2012! We have stories from both 2011 AND 2012 for your enjoyment. How's that for having a foot in the past and the present? Today we look at the Holland e-cigarette ban again, we see a TV station trying very hard to create electronic cigarette controversy where there is none. Also a friendly reminder to think about stocking up on supplies ahead of the Chinese New Year, and yet another e-cigarette brand tries to get off the grand. So jump in to today's e-cigarette news, and welcome to the future!
e-Cigarette Article in AdAge
Upstart brand Spire made an appearance in print over the weekend. Industry publication Advertising Age ran a piece on e-cigarettes and the marketing tactics they have to use in the current environment. The piece featured Spire, nJoy and blu Cigs. Reading between the lines is, perhaps, the most interesting part of the article.
But a spokesman said [blu Cigs] will focus more on benefits such as freedom moving forward. “We're coming close toward legislation in the next two years, so it's time to establish the brand even stronger,” said Mr. Healy. “The tack with everyone here is to stay constantly aggressive.”
Here's the thing, prior to the FDA's move to close comments in 2011 on potential regulation moves that may eventually impact e-cigarettes, the agency had closed-door meetings with several big companies including nJoy. It's pretty clear to me that these companies believe the competitive and marketing landscape is going to change over the next couple years. blu Cigs recently started flying the CASAA banner on their home page. It's starting to look a lot like ants scurrying around before a storm.
Outspoken critic Dick Puddlecote posted a blog article with more insight into the Dutch e-cigarette ban. He was able to have a friend translate the original Dutch document I mentioned in the previous e-cigarette news update to gain more insight. Apparently, the Dutch have been fairly reasonable about tobacco control until this rash decision to treat e-cigarettes as medical products.
What they actually say is that the e-cig will be considered as a drug (compared with patches and gum). This will mean that it needs a license from the Dutch FDA and trade over internet or ads are not allowed until the license is given.
Dick also points out that the quest to kill e-cigarettes is purely a pharmaceutical industry move, as big tobacco will likely come out with competing products once the dust settles. I don't report on stories from this blog often enough, I highly recommend you go read the article.
More of a non-event
KMVT out of Idaho ran a story that seemed a bit like making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill. The story was essentially about state efforts to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors. However the language in the story alluded to wider bans nodding to other locations that have taken the illogical step of banning e-cigarettes.
South Central Public Health District Director Rene LeBlanc says, “The Panhandle Health District was successful in contacting a senator and representative up north, providing them the information they need that would prohibit the sale of e–cigarettes to minors.”
I suppose the station had to do something. Controversy sells (no comments from the peanut gallery). Since absolutely nobody is against forbidding the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the spectre of keeping adults away from the devices had to be used.
Happy New Year!
First a warm wish for 2012 for all my readers. Second, a reminder that the Chinese New Year is just around the corner (January 23rd). For those of you that don't know, the world's most populated country shuts down officially for one week, but the impact to business can last much longer. According to this article, the entire country just gets up and leaves town for a while.
The most distinctive characteristic of the Lunar New Year in China — from a business perspective — is that every one of the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens will try to return to their hometown, even if it means flying halfway across the globe, enduring the most uncomfortable or dangerous conveyance imaginable, or even in extreme but all-too-common cases, quitting their job to make the journey possible. We should note for the China neophyte that one’s “hometown” means one’s grandfather’s hometown, not “the city where your immediate family currently lives”. Due to the colossal numbers of people who have migrated from rural areas to urban cities over the last few decades, massive numbers of travelers are seen in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year.
This of course means that if your favorite supplier didn't stock up on things made in China there might be shortages. Even if you buy gear and e-liquid made in the US, most hardware like cartomizers is produced in China. Most likely this will be felt in February as the manufacturers will have a backlog to work through.
New e-Cigarette Brand in 2012
According to a report in Crain's New York Business, a former Proctor & Gamble exec is planning on launching a new nationwide e-cigarette brand this month. The brand, called Spire is currently being sold locally in New York ahead of its national rollout. Spire joins an already crowded field of basic e-cigarette vendors.
Spire products are currently being sold at a handful of New York City bars and clubs, including Webster Hall, but Mr. Hill plans a national rollout this month, replete with “brand ambassadors”—returning Iraq War veterans and others—who will help promote the smokeless smokes to his target audience: the military, college students and others.
Slick marketing plans are not exactly a novel approach in the electronic cigarette space. We'll see if Spire joins the ranks of other big-name e-cigarettes like V2 Cigs and blu Cigs or ends up being yet another in the big pile of also rans.
Electronic Cigarette Deal of the Moment
Ok, here's another entry from the not actually a deal department. Vapor Alley just took the wraps off their newest Copper Mod for 2012, the Q2v3 copper. This mod houses a bigger battery and also has nice rounded edges if you were put off by the industrial look of the original Copper. You can pick one up at Vapor Alley now. If you're a member over at ECF, you can enter for a chance to win one of these guys as well.
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