Vapor Industry Outlook: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

It’s yay and nay at the same time.

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Vapor Industry Outlook

There is a dichotic consistency in the vapor industry—there continues to be no shortage of good news/bad news ringing in both ears. Here are the latest snippets:

THUMBS UP

  • Thanks in part to the cannabis industry, vaporizer innovation is as fired up as ever.
  • Pax Labs recently unveiled the third generation of its iconic vaporizer line—Pax 3, a loose-leaf vaporizer compatible with concentrates—now with new finishes and new prices.“As we are able to achieve additional efficiencies in our manufacturing process through technical innovation and investment, we are pleased to be able to pass these savings on to our loyal customers,” says JJ O’Brien, general manager for the San Francisco-based company, which is invested in portable heat-not-burn vaporization technology.The Pax 3 comes in four matte anodized aluminum finishes, including teal, rose gold, black and silver. In concert with the launch of the new finishes and colors, the price of the Pax 3 has been dropped to $199.99 and includes a maintenance kit, 3500 mAh battery, charger and two mouthpieces. The price for the complete kit has been lowered to $249.99 and includes a concentrate insert, charger, 3500 mAh battery, maintenance kit, multi-tool, two mouthpieces, two oven lids, three oven screens and a protective pouch for the device. The Pax 3 has a 10-year limited warranty.

    The price of the Pax 2 has also been lowered, to $149.99.

    The device comes with a maintenance kit, charger and two mouthpieces, and it has a two-year limited warranty. The Pax 2 is available in charcoal and platinum finishes in a brushed, anodized aluminum shell.

  • In other vapor industry headlines, a partnership was formed between Enovap—developer of what the company claims to be “the world’s first smart personal vaporizer,” which is able to automatically and manually control nicotine delivery—and The Blinc Group incubator. The plan is to introduce Enovap’s technology to investors and strengthen its presence in the U.S. market.“Enovap is aiming for a fast commercial expansion of its vaping product in the U.S.,” says Alexandre Scheck, CEO of Enovap.The union is “the chance for us to share our experience and knowledge on vaping and learn from the ongoing U.S. research on vaping and cannabis,” adds The Blinc Group’s advisory board member Marie Harang-Eltz. ”We are looking forward to meeting scientists, key opinion leaders and companies to conduct more effective research in this area to help in the development of better nicotine- and cannabis-delivery vaping technologies.”

    Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, chief strategy officer of The Blinc Group, says, “Enovap represents a game-changing technology with regards to harm reduction, and its applications are infinite, ranging from traditional vaping all the way to medicinal marijuana delivery as well as traditional drug delivery.”

    Founded in 2015, Enovap brings state-of-the-art technology to the fight against tobacco, developing the first nicotine-management system with its patented “double-tank technology.” Enovap’s Hit Control system lets users control the nicotine concentration for each puff, optimizing the throat-hit sensation and regulating their daily intake of nicotine. The company has been awarded the seal of excellence of the European Commission and the Ilab prize by the French Minister of Research and Innovation.

  • Positive vapor news was also recently reported by Inc. Magazine when it named Smoking Vapor on its Inc. 5000 list, ranking the vapor company No. 881 with sales growth of 505 percent. It’s the second year in a row that the Phoenix-based manufacturing and retailing company has appeared on the list.
    Smoking Vapor makes the Mi-One and Mi-Pod vape devices, the latter of which is described by owner Geoff Habicht as “an idea borne of passion and experience, designed to exceed the consumer’s expectations, is high quality, stylish and simple for anyone to use.”
  • Another positive vapor report with scientific backing is in. A study led by David Levy, a professor with Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., and published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that about one-third of smokers who used a vapor product nearly every day successfully quit, compared with 5-6 percent of those who used e-cigarettes between five and 14 days in a month. It also found that former smokers were 2.8 times more likely to remain smoke-free after three months if they used a vapor product at least 20 days in a month, while those who vaped only five or more days a month were only 60 percent likely to abstain from traditional cigarettes for three months.Vapor Industry OutlookTHUMBS DOWN
  • The vapor tax in Pennsylvania is responsible for the closure of a multitude of vapor retail businesses, according to a report in the Daily Caller. As vapor industry advocates in Pennsylvania continue to fight against a 40 percent wholesale tax on vapor products, it is believed that tax led to the closure of at least 150 stores since its implementation in October 2016.While state officials defend the tax, saying Pennsylvania desperately needs the estimated $13 million it generates in annual revenue, Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, contends that lawmakers have “refused to take lost revenue from store closings into account in [the states’] revenue projections.”
    Meanwhile, Connecticut’s governor is pushing the state legislature to pass a budget compromise that would impose a 75 percent wholesale tax on all vapor products effective Jan. 1, 2018. Conley has stated that this proposed tax “threatens to close approximately 80 small businesses” in that state.
  • There continues to be an outpouring of negative press surrounding faulty vapor devices and the lawsuits against retailers who sell them. As one example, in August a local New Hampshire news outlet reported that Dana Albee, a 19-year-old woman from the town of Brookline, New Hampshire, is suing GPVapor in Merrimack, New Hampshire. In the lawsuit, Albee says that GPVapor sold her a vapor product that allegedly exploded in 2015, causing severe burns to her face, mouth, thigh and hands.

Story by Renée M. Covino

This story first appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.

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