Join the discussion of how electronic cigarettes work with an old world industrial feel, as E Cig Werks provides commentary, updates and links on all things e-cig. E Cig Werks seeks to add clarity and common sense to the sometimes complicated and cluttered online and retail electronic cigarette industry, along with e-cig affiliate sales links, discounts and more.
If you can possibly manage the time, please vape both cigs at one meeting.
it’s safe to say that the electronic cigarette landscape changed was sufficiently
rocked with today’s big announcement of the Lorillard Tobacco Company’s
acquisition of the Blu Cigs electronic cigarette company for $135 million.
Werks first blogged about possible impending nuptials between smaller electronic
cigarette brands and the major tobacco companies in December 2011. At that
time, an article on the Seeking Alpha financial website described electronic
cigarettes as a “threat” faced by major tobacco companies. The article by Paul
Santos was one of the first to note the logical interest in electronic
cigarettes for large worldwide tobacco companies.
time, Blu Cigs president Jason Healy made the following comment onSantos’
Dec. 7, 2011 column. “It’s good to see this topic being discussed, saidHealy. “I am obviously betting on the
fact that we have and will continue to make an impression on big tobacco.”
impression was apparently a good one as the Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard
will keep Blu as a separate company operated by its current management team in Charlotte while
acknowledging Blu as the “best selling” electronic cigarette brand.
"This is a very exciting move for me and my team,” Healy
said in a statement today. “I am particularly excited about what this means for
the brand and our customers. It gives us access to the tremendously experienced
team and resources at Lorillard and will allow us to move to the next level on
our expansion and product development."
followed the growth of the electronic cigarette industry pretty closely for
well over a year, I was just waiting for the larger tobacco companies to get
involved as e-cig and acceptance popularity increased.
to the CDC, the percentage of U.S.
adults who tried electronic cigarettes quadrupled from .06 percent in 2009 to
2.7 percent in 2010. While those numbers are small, they have increased
significantly since then, but still pale in comparison to those using regular
York magazine story had noted that the number of posts on theElectronic Cigarette Forumwere at about 4.2 million for 2011 compared to some 30,000
three years ago in 2008. In addition, the online world of social media is full
of websites, blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter pages, and more outlets focusing
on electronic cigarettes.
benefits like health considerations, cost savings, decreased odor, improved
access and more, it seemed that an unsettled regulatory climate might prevent
faster growth. However, since a U.S. Appeals Court ruled that electronic
cigarettes be regulated as a tobacco product and not a smoking cessation device
in late 2010, the market has grown further.
smaller companies like Blu grew and competed in the online and retail
marketplace, it was only a matter of time before the big companies like
Lorillard came around toelectronic
"For a relatively modest investment, we believe this acquisition can open up a significant avenue of growth for the company long-term,” said
Lorillard Chairman, CEO & President Murray
Kessler. "I'd say this because e-cigarettes is a rapidly expanding market segment, which is very early in development, and Blu cigs is the leading brand and innovator in the segment. We believe that Blu will benefit from Lorillard Tobacco Company's
regulatory experience and sales infrastructure which are needed for it, and the
category, to reach its potential in a responsible manner."
course, there are still many unknowns in the electronic cigarette marketplace
like further regulation, production and even advertising and promotion. However,
in attending recent vaping events in Chicago
and talking to others in the industry, it appears to be poised for growth.
recent visit to Johnson Creek Original Smoke Juice in Wisconsin, which makes its own smoke juice
flavors, as well as those for Blu and other brands, those interviewed said they
welcomed legitimate regulation and competition.
bigger companies may be slower to embrace new technology, it appears they have finally
got religion on electronic cigaretteswith the Blu acquisition by Lorillard.
“big tobacco” is likely the most demonized of global industries and hasn’t exactly
done the best job in the area of public relations, it might learn from theelectronic cigarettecompanies like Blu, which have done a
pretty good job on the PR and regulation front.
will tell if electronic cigarettes can actually replace tobacco, but the news
of Lorillard’s purchase of Blu sure makes for an interesting marriage of new
and old industries.
I’ll let the various vaping forums cover the details and
politics as to why there were two similar events only a couple miles apart on one
weekend in Chicago.
E Cig Werks is simply going to provide a more general review and some
observations from the crowds and vendors who were there.
Both events were pretty well attended with about 20-30
vendors each and hundreds of vapers, but a major difference was that Vapefest
had a $10 entry while Vapebash was free. It sure would have been better to have
everyone at one location, but it still worked out fine, especially thanks to a
shuttle bus between the two that was apparently provided by the folks at
We spent Saturday afternoon mixing with attendees and
talking to vendors, suppliers, manufacturers and other media. While E Cig Werks
tries to focus its coverage on electronic cigarettes, it was interesting to see
the wide variety of vaping products, e-liquids and smoke juice products and
There were plenty of examples of the growing variety and
popularity of e-liquid flavors in Chicago
with samples from bold coffees to exotic spices to homegrown organics from
vendors like VapeNY, Vapor4Life, Clouds of Vapor, Century 21 Smoking and others.
One new product making its debut at Vapefest was Century21 Smoking’s unique liquid dispensing device with a juice canister and
cigarette dispenser. We noticed the “cool” factor of setting it on a bar or conference
room table, as well as the potential hygiene benefits. The device is loaded
with juice, flipped over and is then ready for vaping.
Other popular products were larger battery “mods” with
drip tips or specialty flavors from vendors like VapeNY, Cignot, MadVapes and
others. Smaller disposable e-cigs were not as prevalent although Instant E-Cig
had some quality reasonably priced products available.
Among the observations from Vapebash and Vapefest in Chicago were that the
electronic cigarette and vaping industry is growing and growing quickly. The
big question on many minds was just how big can it grow and when will it become
more accepted and mainstream? Hopefully, it will be sooner than later,
depending on factors such as regulation, marketing, advertising, endorsements and
Another takeaway from the Chicago events was the competitive
camaraderie that seems to exist in the vaping community. Despite the obvious
issues of the competing Vapebash and Vapefest events, everyone seemed to enjoy
and appreciate the chance to socialize, spend and make money, and discuss the
state of the industry.
As much as most vendors were in Chicago to market and sell their products,
some provided interesting success stories about how e-cigs had improved either
their lives or the lives of their customers by allowing them to quit smoking
regular cigarettes. Several vapers were also quick to share similar stories.
So, hopefully, Vapebash and Vapefest organizers can figure
out a way to combine forces for future Chicago
events. E Cig Werks thoroughly enjoyed attending its first electronic industry
trade show and hopes to get to more in the future.
Please feel free to provide your comments on either event
or anything else!