2015 Electronic Cigarette & Vaping Summary December 22 2015
Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes
A Groundbreaking Year For Innovation, Change, and Public Awareness
In 2015, the Electronic Cigarette industry received more press than ever: some good, some great, and some downright negative. We also experienced unprecedented product improvements, cost decreases, and increased quality across the board. Finally, we encountered tremendous pressure from legislators, the FDA, anti-vaping groups, and an undereducated public that only knows what major media outlets share with them.
One of the most frequently asked questions this year we hear in the industry is "Are pending FDA regulations going to shut down the vapor industry?". Initially, looming regulation has threatened the existence of independent manufacturers of e-liquid and hardware. The proposed legislation, backed by lobbyists and big tobacco, has pushed for certification of all liquids and hardware. Unfortunately, every single flavor or variant product would require millions of dollars of investment in order to become certified - an investment only Big Tobacco could afford. However, there's actually a large group of GOP legislators fighting for the e-cig industry, and reciprocally there is a large group of congressional democrats that are pushing anti-vaping legislation. Specifically, they have pushed heavily to eliminate flavored e-liquids stating that they encourage underage vaping. They have overlooked the fact that adults actually enjoy delicious flavors and the fact that the entire E-Cig industry embraces banning sales to all minors. In fact, most states have already passed legislation banning sales to minors, which the vaping community adamantly supports.
Luckily, the vaping community has joined arms in fighting back and a lot of ground has been made in the fight. The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), and the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) have all rallied e-cig consumers and industry to push back against government regulation. As a result, everyone from local legislation to the White House has received millions of responses from constituents fighting for their vaping rights.
Science has made great strides in 2015, rebutting the popular go-to response from anti-vaping camps "There's just not enough research". On the contrary, conclusive studies in the U.K. this year found electronic cigarettes to be 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. The CDC admitted electronic cigarettes are helping smokers quit, and has published the data. The following e-cig myths have been debunked:
Harvard: "Vaping causes popcorn lung" - Debunked, found trace chemicals were 100 times higher in traditional cigarettes, and even then still not enough to cause popcorn lung.
"Second Hand Vapor Is Harmful" - Debunked, Spanish Council For Scientific Research found less contaminates in exhaled vapor than ordinary indoor air or exhaled breath.
"E-Cigarettes Contain Formaldehyde" - Debunked, Boston School of Public Health found that you would have to superheat liquid to an intolerable and impossible point.
If you have read this far, you are probably already aware that other false claims by the media (i.e. e-cigs contain anti-freeze) were all debunked prior to 2015. University-level research continues across the globe, but you shouldn't expect the mainstream media to report it. Also, the two battery explosions (out of over 10 Million vapers) were created by using the wrong chargers and 99% of products have protective circuitry to prevent similar occurrences.
In 2015 we have seen complete shifts in the price, quality, and features of electronic cigarettes. 2014 was the year of the eLeaf iStick and Aspire Nautilus, and 2015 is the year of sub-ohm and temperature control. The manufacturing of electronic cigarettes has grown exponentially, as has competition, which has cut costs to consumers. In 2014, you could expect to pay around $2 per watt or roughly $50 for a 25-watt device. Today, 200-watt mods from name-brand manufacturers like the Sigelei Fuchai can be had for under $70 USD. That's a five hundred percent decrease per watt! Sub Ohm vaping, or use of coils rated lower than 1.0 ohm, has become a standard rather than a purist pursuit. At the beginning of the year, everyone was buying Atlantis (And Atlantis 2), Arctic, and Kanger Subtank tanks. These frontrunners became so common that aficionados started seeking out more individual tanks like the Zephyrus or Starre tanks. The next advent came in mid-2015 with the introduction of top-fill tanks, which was long overdue! The most popular, the Uwell Crown, allowed users to add liquid without removing their tanks from their devices. By the end of 2015 we're seeing almost all new tanks, especially high-end tanks like the TFV4, are all top fill.
In addition to innovations in coils, from the triple coil Hatrick to the 6 coil Arctic Turbo, we started to see everyone offering a nickel (Ni200) coil at the beginning of 2015. This allowed temperature-controlled devices to regulate the voltage to the coil to produce a consistent amount of vapor to the user's setting. When used correctly, they should consume less e-liquid and produce a smoother vaping experience. Leading manufacturers like Aspire, Kanger, and Joyetech all scrambled to produce nickel coils to retrofit existing tanks. Then, in the blink of an eye, manufacturers introduced Titanium coils which were supposed to be better than Nickel, but it's really just user preference. Now, at the end of 2015, Stainless Steel temperature-controlled coils are the latest and greatest. In fact, tanks have become so innovative, we have seen very little innovation for rebuildable atomizers. Most innovation has been in the same raw materials used in tanks, such as Clapton coils.
In summary, it's been a great year for e-cig users but the industry is definitely in jeopardy. If you vape, you need to advocate. It takes five minutes to join CASAA and auto-fill a pre-drafted letter to your local legislators. Try to educate non-vapers and share the science, because too many people are going back to cigarettes as a result of electronic cigarette misinformation. If at the end of 2015, if we have high-end sub ohm starter kits like the iJust2 or Subvod (Under $40 shipped), just imagine what will be available at the end of 2016! That is of course if we stand up against the government and detractors who are trying to crush the e-cig industry altogether.