The Vaping Industry by the Numbers: Stats About E-Cigarettes and E-Liquid
For a long time, electronic cigarettes were somewhat of a niche market. Typically sold only in pharmacies, these devices contained one flavor only (tobacco) and they didn’t always last very long. In the last couple of years, however, the times have changed when it comes to “e-cig” use. The vaping industry — that is, anything to do with using electronic cigarettes — has evolved in ways that give e cig and vaporizer users more choices than ever before.
Consider this: where electronic cigarettes were once only sold by a few manufacturers in a small number of stores, today there are more places to buy these devices than ever. In addition to being sold in drugstores, casual users and smokers who are interested in switching to vaping can now purchase these items anywhere from mall kiosks to online.
The vaping industry is also becoming specialized. Vaping shops and lounges, which represent about one-third of the industry, have been established in all corners of the United States, and today there are more than 3,500 of such shops across the nation. These independent businesses bring varieties to consumers that competing cigarette companies just can’t deliver.
Much of the appeal surrounding vapor cigarettes is in the “e-liquid” used to create vapor. While some vaping flavors cater to the crowds who still prefer tobacco, cigar, and menthol tastes found in cigarettes, there is much variety to be found in these liquids. Natural fruit flavors include the ever-popular watermelon along with cherry, raspberry, mango, kiwi, and melon. Vape users with a sweet tooth, however, can sample anything from vanilla, coffee, cotton candy and pineapple custard to candy-flavored choices like gummy bears, Swedish Fish, and Skittles.
Yet flavor isn’t the only draw for users. Because many smokers begin vaping with the intent to kick tobacco, they also get the opportunity to lessen their dependence on nicotine. Unlike most regular cigarettes, e-liquids for vaporizers contain varying amounts of nicotine that users can control.
Low concentrations may include between six and eight milligrams of nicotine (equivalent to ultra-light cigarettes) all the way to 13 to 16 milligrams in high nicotine liquids for those who smoke about a pack a day.. Some brands even sell zero-nicotine e-liquids for those who have kicked the habit or vape infrequently, and others have extra-high 24 to 36 milligram nicotine blends, which are especially useful for smokers who have recently switched to vaping. And believe it or not, e-liquids with zero or low concentrations outsell the medium to high strengths by about a two-to-one margin.
When combined, the options presented by e-cigarettes can still save users money when compared to the average smoking habit. A cigarette smoker can spend $2,250 on cigarettes annually — or more. Buying a rechargeable electronic cigarette or vaporizer and subsequent e-liquid refills for a year, however, would only cost around $1,100 to $1,800 in a year, and perhaps even less as users reduce their nicotine consumption. Additionally, just one e-liquid cartridge will typically last for about 360 puffs, or the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes, and this is far more economical than buying carton after carton each month.
There’s no variety quite like that provided by vaping, and the convenience of buying supplies and using these devices means that cigarettes are becoming a thing of the past. The vaping industry has grown from a niche market to a multi-billion dollar industry as more people recognize the benefits and choices available with this technology.