In less than 40 days, the e-cigarette industry may usher in a new chapter.
On March 11, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued the National Standards for E-Cigarettes (Second Draft for Consultation), which made it clear that the design of aerosolized products should not induce minors, and should not make the characteristics and flavors of products other than tobacco.
One of the biggest concerns is the impending demise of various flavors of aerosols (e-cigarette shells) in favor of all-tobacco flavors. After all, the appeal of e-cigarettes to young consumers, first-time smokers, is often based on heavily concocted fruit and candy flavors (aerosols). There are currently about 16,000 flavors of e-cigarette products on the market, according to WHO data.
Some industry analysis, compared with the previous e-cigarette “off the Internet”, advertising ban and other difficult to fundamentally affect the development of the industry regulatory measures, banning manufacturers to add fruit, candy and other attractive flavors in e-cigarette liquid is undoubtedly “beat the snake beat seven inch”, the e-cigarette set out a strict track.
Although the national standards for e-cigarettes are currently only a draft for consultation, e-cigarette manufacturers and businesses mostly believe that the “de-fruity taste” will be reflected in the regulation of e-cigarettes, which will take effect on May 1. Therefore, the industry also set off a series of chain reaction.
Agents cling to the window period
“There won’t be any other flavors. If you want to, stock up now.”
After the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration released the National Standards for e-cigarettes (Second draft) on March 11, Li Shu, who works as an agent selling a mainstream brand of e-cigarettes at a mall in Longgang, Shenzhen, circulated related news on wechat for three consecutive days.
Speaking as a consumer, Li said that although it is unclear whether the ban on e-cigarette flavors will come into effect with the regulation of e-cigarettes, which will take effect on May 1, the industry generally regards this period as the last window.
“Some merchants have raised the price of cigarette shells, but I still sell them at the original price. Customers need to stock up, I need to clear inventory.” Compared with the previous regulatory new policies issued worry, just heard the news of “go fruit flavor”, she was calm, “it is good to get used to, can sell one day at a time, everyone see the move.”
Almost all e-cigarette vendors, including her, are using the new rules as an excuse to “force orders.” After hearing the relevant regulations, there are indeed a lot of customers to seize the time to buy, grab a variety of flavors of smoke bombs, take the opportunity to increase the price of businesses are not a minority.
According to Li Shu, the original price of cigarettes was 99 yuan per box, and some merchants sold them as high as 159 per box, up 60 percent, but consumers still rushed to buy them. Vaping smokers are concerned that if the ban is officially imposed, fruity shells may no longer be available.
So, after taking advantage of the new rules to clear inventory and make a profit, are e-cigarette vendors planning to take advantage and get out?
“It’s impossible!” laughed Li Shu. She told her notes that she and many of the e-cigarette vendors around her were creating anxiety to clear inventory while stocking up on new products.
“Other taste bombs are banned, but e-cigarettes have a different taste. They have a certain addictive quality.” In her view, once consumers use e-cigarettes, it is often difficult for them to quit smoking, especially those who are attracted by the taste of the stuffball, and cannot reduce their demand for the flavored stuffball in the short term.
As long as the demand exists, e-cigarette dealers will be hoarding so many bombs that they can’t afford to rot in their hands. Once the new regulations are put in place, businesses will even raise prices because of “rare things are expensive”, and make a profit with high-priced cigarette bombs. “At present, if we stock more cigarette bombs, I think the window period is at least one year, and it is more than one year if we are optimistic.”
After all, the shelf life of a fresh shell is about two years, and it can be sold for as long as it lasts. Li Shu stressed that even some second – and third-tier e-cigarette brands plan to launch fruit-flavored cigarettes with longer shelf life in the short term, so that users and businesses can stock up.
According to data from imedia, as of 2019, there were nearly 350 million smokers in China, and the number of e-smokers in China was about 2.1 million based on 0.6% of e-cigarette users. It can be seen that the consumer demand for e-cigarette products is not low.
Therefore, in addition to e-cigarette agents stocking up and selling at a high price after the new regulations, there are also some small workshops and shanzhai factories of e-cigarette bombs, also eyeing the “new business opportunities” that may arise after the new regulations. It’s just, it’s a gray area.
At present, the new regulations of the e-cigarette industry are still in the draft stage of soliciting opinions, and it is too early to judge whether they are really implemented and how effective they are. Strict regulation will always come, but we should also be aware of some phenomena, such as some states in the United States after the implementation of relevant bans, the effect is not good, and even the black market transactions and other chaos.
How to put the regulatory policies into practice, regulate the development of the industry and meet the real consumer demand is worth careful consideration by the relevant regulatory agencies and the whole industry participants.
Post time: Aug-11-2022