E-Cigarettes Are Here to Stay

Until recently, e-cigs have been sold through traditional tobacco stores that normally expect a keystone or 100% markup on items other than cigarettes. Though it is hard to determine the number of e-cig users in the U.S., the National Vapers Club estimated that about a million people used e-cigs last year, so it certainly is a growing segment, and the product offers c-stores an excellent alternative to cigarettes with lower taxes and much higher margins.

“In 2010 there were 750,000 units sold and that jumped to 2.5 million sold in 2011, and the market is expected to quadruple by end of 2013 to early to mid of 2014,” said Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

Close to 20 million cartridges are sold in the U.S. on a weekly basis and about 10 million disposables weekly, Kiklas said.

Both disposable and rechargeable packages have distinct markets. Disposables tend to sell best in gas stations and convenience stores where people come in and out quickly, while rechargeables are selling strongly in tobacco stores where customers have time to learn about the technology.

“There is still some skepticism on the part of the consumer and the retailer based on whether or not the FDA will get involved to a greater degree,” said Stephen Monaco, director of purchasing for Tedeschi Food Shops in Rockland, Mass.

Regulation Issues
Last April, the FDA announced its plans to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products and will work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to tax and regulate distribution, which means e-cigarette importers must have tobacco importing licenses, and sellers must have tobacco licenses in all 50 states.

States are still figuring out how to deal with e-cigarettes. In Hawaii, for example, the product was up against a proposal that aimed to tax e-cigarettes at 70% of the wholesale price. Luckily for Hawaiian retailers, the bill was not passed.  

“We have no problem with the taxing of the product, but you have to tax it at the level of harm that it does, and it’s a less harmful product than a traditional tobacco cigarette,” Kiklas said. “So if you’re going to tax it, tax it at that level, and that level would be not very high.”

Just last month, e-cigarettes made the national news when a device blew up in a Florida man’s mouth, leading some to question the safety of the devices.

“We are waiting for the Florida authorities to come to a determination on what brand and what product the gentleman was using because it’s our understanding that he was using something called a MOD—that’s a modified product where they take batteries and they really juice up a unit to really where it’s no longer an e-cig,” Kiklas said. “We do not recognize MODs as electronic cigarettes.”

Kiklas compared turning an e-cig into a MOD with taking a normal gas lawnmower and adding a turbo charger and nitrous oxide, in other words, an improper, unsafe way to modify a product.

“What some people are doing in the market is they’re modifying e-cigarettes to generate a lot more vapor than they were initially intended for, and we think that’s what the gentleman in Florida was using when he had the anomaly,” Kiklas said.

To keep things in perspective, Kiklas added, out of the more than 2.5 million units sold last year and the billions of e-cigarettes used in the last two years, “there has never been an anomaly like what happened in Florida ever, so let’s wait until authorities learn what actually happened,” he said.

New Product Excitement
Tedeschi has been testing disposable and rechargeable e-cigarette brands at 15 of its 190 stores, and is also testing the refill cartridges.  

“I don’t see the hype right now that seems to be prevalent in other parts of the country for e-cigarettes. It doesn’t seem to have reached New England yet, or at least the state of Massachusetts,” Monaco said. “But I believe electronic cigarettes and cigars are here to stay and will become more dominant as the year goes along.”  

At Express Convenience Centers in Wisconsin, e-cigarette unit sales are low, but the company sees the sales and margins on electronic tobacco products as worth the investment, said Scott Glaser, merchandising manger and buyer for the 19-store chain.

“We do have a few committed e-cigarette customers, but it’s too soon to tell if customers are trading off from other tobacco categories or if they are capturing an entirely new customer,” Glaser said.

E-cigs are skewing toward the female demographic at 60.5% versus 39.5% of the male demographic, according to ECH Research in conjunction with Opinionnaire.

This could be for several reasons, including that women tend to be early adopters of socially oriented trends, and may be more conscious of cigarette odor on clothes and hair. They are also more frequent Internet shoppers.

Kiklas noted when e-cigs hit the market around 2007 there was some question to whether the product would have legs and whether smokers would accept the alternative.

“People are transitioning from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes and you can see that trend in the sales figures,” he said. “The outlook looks great for the product and the category.”

Who’s Buying Electronic Tobacco Products?

A June 2011 national study conducted under the supervision of ECH Research of Cincinnati, in conjunction with Opinionnaire, surveyed more than 200 smoker households that use electronic tobacco products and found that 99% of e-cigarette users are either current or past users of multiple forms of tobacco. Approximately 70% of survey respondents said they intended to quit smoking before starting e-cigarettes.

But most importantly for convenience store operators, 49.5% of e-cigarette smokers purchased their first e-cigarette over the Internet. This means retailers not embracing electronic products are missing out on significant sales opportunities.

 Other study highlights include:
• 46% of e-cigarette users either smoke or used to smoke cigars.
• 33% of e-cigarette users reside in Southern states.
• 19% of e-cigarette users reside in the eight Northeast states.
• 57% of e-cigarette smokers have used e-cigarettes less than six months.  
• 79% of initial e-cigarette purchasers continue to buy and use them.
• 82% of e-cigarette smokers currently continue to smoke regular cigarettes in
addition to e-cigarettes.  
• 62% of e-cigarette smokers state they have stopped smoking cigarettes or smoke fewer cigarettes since starting e-cigarettes.
Source: ECH Research/Opinionaire, June 2011

Do E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit?

• Electronic cigarettes produced six-month abstinence rates better than those for traditional nicotine replacement products.
• 31% of first-time purchasers of electronic cigarettes surveyed reported having quit smoking
•Of those who quit smoking, 34.3% discontinued the use of electronic
 cigarettes, as well.
• 66.8% of respondents reported reducing the number of cigarettes they smoked after using electronic cigarettes.
• 48.8% of respondents reported quitting smoking for a period of time after using electronic cigarettes.
• Among respondents using electronic cigarettes frequently (more than 20 times per day), the six-month smoking abstinence rate was 70%.

Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine



  1. Mountainjen says:

    I started using an eCig on Dec. 13, 2010 and never smoked a regular cigarette again.  I do still vape, but it is nothing like smoking as far as carcinogens, second hand smoke and the smell.  I feel so much better since I’ve been vaping instead of smoking!

  2. Sharonblank says:

    I started using ecigarettes Jan. 5, 2012.  I was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day and using 2 different inhalers for a total of 5 times a day.  Now I only smoke 1 or 2 regular cigarettes a day, and no longer need to use any inhalers, and no longer cough all of the time.  I am so glad I started using ecigarettes.  I feel a lot better, and it is a whole lot cheaper.  I would recommend all smokers switch to ecigarettes.

  3. Deadcat2 says:

    I smoked cigarettes for 27 years and never had any luck whatsoever with any quit-smoking method.  Then I tried an electronic cigarette, and within a week I had stopped smoking completely.  The thing is, there are good electronic cigarettes, and not so good ones.  It is a lot harder to quit smoking with a not so good electronic cigarette, so it is highly recommended that anyone who wants to try them out does a little bit of research on the internet to make sure they are purchasing a quality product that will work for them.  The best place to do that research is on an independent electronic cigarette forum, of which there are many. Just use Google to find them, and chances are you’ll be on your way to a smoke-free life.

  4. I was a smoker for 23 years (2 packs/day in the last several of those years) and I quit in October 2009 by using an electronic cigarette. I didn’t even plan to quit smoking, I just wanted to test it and see how long I could go without smoking if I gave my e-cig an honest try. That was nearly 2 1/2 years ago and I haven’t smoked since. I started at a high level of nicotine and within a few months had reduced it to a low level. I’ve maintained there without any problems and it keeps me from ever craving tobacco cigarettes (even when I’m around other smokers). I feel good, my health is good, the vapor doesn’t bother anyone around me… Success! I think the key is finding a decent quality ecig and using a flavor you really enjoy.

  5. Smokefree Forgood says:

    May 27, 2010 I received an e-cig and quit a 35 year 3 pack cig. habit literally that day. But it didn’t come from a conv. store. I agree w/Deadcat2 below that the type of e-cig is critical. I’ve tapered down the amount of nicotine I vape as well and may or may not get to 0%.  At this point, it’s not a major health concern one way or the other.

    I’m sure that if the testing and surveys mentioned in the article were done among smokers with a little training and good quality e-cigs, the results would indicate a much, much higher rate of success in totally quitting smoking. To some degree, the availability and marketing of junky little e-cigarettes is detrimental in the long run.  Too many people fail to adopt e-cigs based on their experiences with sub-par gas station and conv. store disposable units. Worse yet are the “free-trial” scams and the grossly overpriced mall kiosks.  Smokers with the foresight to do research online or who can afford the (usually) justifiably high markups of tobacco store units will have an exponentially greater chance of success quitting with e-cigs.  

    Anyone considering using an e-cig would be wise to remember two things:  1) The internet is awash with sales sites masquerading as phony “review” sites. 2) The more an e-cig looks like the real thing, the worse it will perform and the lower your chances of success with it.

    Call me an evangelist if you like. The improvement in my health has been so profound in just a couple years, that I feel justified in labeling detractors in the nicotine prohibitionist camp, as well as those trying to stifle e-cigs by onerous taxes and regulations, as guilty of something akin to negligent homicide.

    • Mick Wright says:

      “The more an e-cig looks like the real thing, the worse it will perform and the lower your chances of success with it.”

      Ohh thats true for sure, and your backed up to the hilt by all the research we’ve done. But the fact remains that I, likely you and most vapers start off on a cigalike and upgrade when we realize what we’re missing. The cigalikes perform a very great service to this industry, I don’t even produce them but I am certainly thankful for their place in the market.

      But I too would advise a new user to opt for an eGo as a starter or failing that a really good cigalike …say the innokin AIO or something.

      I agree with your sentiments regarding the ANTI lobby… if ignorant they should respect those of us better educated and if malevolent they should be jailed.

      • I have been vaping for 2 yrs. now, a lot cheaper and better for you and everyone around you. My house no longer smells and neither does my car. Mine look like a real cigarette with plenty of vapor and tastes like a cigarette. I use an 18mg. nicotine but you can get them in 24 and 36 also. So glad they invented these.

        • Mick Wright says:

          Well on a personal note Sharon regardless of ones preferred hardware , and mine would be a little more erm… lets say ‘industrial’ looking than yours, its absolutely not those horrible tobacco things… lol

  6. Mods are not inherently dangerous, it’s the proper batteries that are key. High intensity flashlights are basically the same as a “mod” in that they use the correct batteries/high drain protected to deliver more volts. Are we to worry about flashlights now?

    • Mick Wright says:

      I own several mods… but I wouldn’t advise their use to a smoker thinking of using an ecig. Theres work to be done using a mod… you do that because your an ex smoker thats now a vaper….but you are also using this as a hobby you enjoy… the vast majority of folks would start buying cheapo batteries from china and mods with no exhaust.

      So I agree with the position they are not inherently dangerous… and you’re right neither are large flashlights… but would you give a flashlight with the wrong power and bulb to a novice?

  7. The e cigarette do the great job for smokers’ health!

  8. As Mark Twain said, smoking is easy to quit, I do it every night.  That is my story, prior to electronic cigarettes. A coworker shared the electronic cigarette idea with me prior to Christmas 2010.  There was a particular vender who was changing prices hourly for a particular online kit, and at 6:00 A,M, on a Friday I logged on and impulsively bought at a great price, 4 days later they were in my hands (as well as the hands of my now wife) and we both have been cigarette free since 12/20/2010.  I must admit they were a challenge at first, one of the cartridges was zero nicotine and of course with plumes of vapor and rapid withdrawal one of us almost tossed the idea after a few hours.  It helps to read instructions.  Since then I have done what I had never done previously over 30 years of multiple attempts at stopping cigarettes.  I have never needed to light up again.  The phenomenal part is that life has changed, taste has come back and I have entered into a new lifestyle.  The other aids to quit I tried, and there isn’t one I didn’t were a temporary substitute.  I am gradually dropping nicotine levels, but have no intention of stopping this vaping thing soon.  It has drawn me into a social network of advocates and one particular group (casaa.org) has become a passion.  I too am a bit evangelical, but vapor is not smoke and with vapor there is the piece that was missing without the entire house, car and every piece of clothing drenched in the odor of tobacco smoke.  I celebrated World Vaping Day with 10 e-cigs I gave out to smokers at work.  Life is good, the stairs look less ominous and even my self image is improved.  Life is good, I still have the original PV, one battery change later- and make much of my own e-juice.  The greatest thing is now there is community and that little 0 nic glitch is not an issue.  This is a brave new world for me, and with that I will end, as people know I can talk way too long.  Vape on people!

  9. MangleKit says:

    Definitely an awe

    • manglekit2 says:

      some product with unbelieved benefits to the average smoker. Good luck on your journeys!

      • I have been using e-cigs for one year. I have smoked for 35 years and never been successful at quitting all the way. I worried I would be addicted to e-cigs (lol). Who cares I have lost weight, I work out every day and i can breathe as well as a non-smoker now. I agree with everyone that the brand is important. I tried just about all of them. The quality ranged from good to didn’t work at all! I found an American made brand Durasmoke and I love them so much I went to work as their representative. August 20 will be one year. 

  10. sbagan20 says:

    The electronic cigarette is wonderful i do not understand why some people reject the claim by ex smokers as it being beneficial… Ughh either way i am in love with the Safe Cig!

  11. bahhumbug2012 says:

    I quit smoking about 3 months ago using nicotine gum. I still had cravings about once a day and would fall off the bandwagon almost daily, going to a neighbor’s house to smoke one of her’s to avoid buying them. Last week I purchased an e-ciggerette. I figured it would help as a placebo while I continue on my journey. I was right and haven’t craved a cigarette since.

  12. Volcanoeexplosion says:

    I agree e cigarettes are here to stay. I retail these, I buy them from http://www.electroniccigarettesfast.com

  13. It was the battery that exploded.  That battery just happened to be in an ecigarette.  Li-ion batteries can and do explode on their own and in all types of products.  Shall we ban all products that use them?  Great product and I absolutely hope they are here to stay forever.

  14. Elaine Keller says:

    The study quoted in the story was a survey of first time purchasers of a single brand. People who consult online forums for advice find the equipment and the nicotine dose that works best for them. Surveys show that this extra help is extremely effective. Up to 79% of survey responders report using e-cigarettes as a complete replacement for smoking. A recent study in Italy involved 30 subjects who did not want to quit smoking, to see whether e-cigarettes could help them reduce the number smoked. Over 80% were able to reduce the amount smoked, and unexpectedly, 22% of them quit spontaneously.

  15. electronic cigarette says:

    I have been using my electronic cigarette for over 2 years now and only smoked a real cigarette maybe 3 times since the first time I purchased it .When I went up to CT last summer I was surprised how many people still havent heard of them .

  16. Im glad to be in the 48.8% ! 

  17. I find the electronic cigarette extremely beneficial to my health because i simply smoke less cigarettes. There is no combustion occurring meaning no tar, ash, chemicals, and most importantly no ODOR surrounding you. The Vapor smoke simply disappears after a few drags which is amazing still. If you know what is good for ya you will listen to what @twitter-297084029:disqus has to say. Others get your butt over to http://appealingsmokes.com for free U.S. Shipping on all ECIGS.

  18. Goose chaser says:

    About the author…….Author wrote    “ATF to tax and regulate distribution, which means e-cigarette importers must have TAX IMPORTING LICENSES  and sellers must have licenses in all 50 states.”    Thanks for wasting a day of mine on the phone and internet with the ATF for hours, to have to do your job for you. The Tax importing ls for over a certain amount limit and does NOT apply to e-cigs or e-juice from my understanding, and of course you only need sellers lic in the states you sell in, not all 50 states unless you are selling in all 50 states. If I still have this wrong please correct me otherwise know that what you report will effect others business plans, decisions, costs and time. Along with reporting comes responsible journalism.

  19. I started smoking about 8 years ago. One day out, at a party, a friend of mine gave me an electronic cigarette from V2 Cigs with a chocolate flavor and he said it had 0 nicotine. I’ve been on the same product for the last 8 months, and I’ve never looked back. I breathe better, my sense of smell and taste is better, and I don’t stink. In all honesty, I don’t even need to use my e-cig all that much, only once in a while. But I feel so much better about myself. I’ve been able to save some extra cash that I’ve put towards buying myself a bike!I try not vape in places where smoking is banned, so as not to bother anyone who might object. But I make it a point to educate anyone curious to know about my e-cig.

  20. I have been an e cigarette user for over a year now. If you are trying to quit smoking cigarettes i suggest you give them a shot! After all the electronic cigarette produces no tar, ash, and doesn’t smell! Like anything though it depends on the person and you also must be over 18. >>>http://appealingsmokes.com <<< Free U.S. Shipping + 5% off using "Safeway" @ checkout

  21. Ecigs are the surely the greatest invention of the 21st century. That legislators and regulatory committees are trying to have them banned is embarrassing. 

  22. I love the electronic cigarette. It has helped me quit smoking and even allows me to breath a bit fresher. If you’re someone looking to quit smoking i highly suggest you try this marvelous little e gadget. I currently stick to the Safe Cig, you can check my review http://appealingsmokes.com here!

  23. Electronic cigarettes with quality must be easy in use. Those
    models which are difficult to assemble as in the case of three-piece model or
    four piece models are not a preferable choice of the smokers.

  24. E-Cigarettes is a new product for regular smoker. Here give a well description for E-cigarettes matter. At the current situation E-Cigarettes have a great demand to use it. 

  25. WillyBill says:

    After 26 years of tobacco and failing with patches, gums, pills and even hypnosis, I quit for good a year ago when my first e-cig came in the mail. Quit. Done. No More Tobacco. No more carcinogins, no more stink. Feeling great. And “mods” (advanced personal vaporizers is a better term) are not lawn mowers with turbos. What ignorance. I’ve never heard of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association or this Kiklas guy, but he’s ignorant and putting out misinformed garbage. Alos, unfortunately, the FDA is interested in protecting Big Tobacco and Big Pharma (reps from each are of their board of directors) as much or more than helping people quit smoking, so we’ll see what they have up their sleeves.

  26. Sharon Blank says:

    I would like to warn e cigarette smokers of a problem I have had with them.  I got my cigarettes from Westsidevapor.com, and for 6 months had no problem with them. However my last order had a lot of cartridges that leaked, so far about 20 out of 30.  I have read articles by a Dr. that says you can get Lipoid pneumonia form inhaling oily substances.  What I was inhaling was an oily substance that burnt my lips and tongue, so beware, if they leak, send them back.  Unfortunately I threw mine away, and the company will not make good on them.  Needless to say I am switching companies.

  27. Some intriguingly true facts stated here. I for one am a previous smoker who was desperate to quit almost similar to John Connell over there. But since a friend of mine introduced me to e-cigs about 8 months ago, I’ve stopped craving for tobacco cigars. I also have been feeling better, breathing better and I don’t smell tar anymore! This is also the reason why we started a retail store of our own, so that we can share our experience to other smokers and maybe provide a better means to break their habit.

    Kind Regards,
    Mark J

  28. People
    around the world have understood the side results of using the
    cigarettes and smoking while using frequent cigarette smoking. It’s
    not only resulting in health damage to the cigarette smokers but a
    dangerous signal to people living around him. When folks use the
    smoking cigarette smoking repeatedly it can be harmful for their
    health in many cases different kinds of severe illnesses. There are
    lots of those who died due to the adverse reactions caused by the
    cigarette smoking. When we discuss the future of the cigarette
    smoking, it must be kept in mind that it’s a habit and there should
    be an alternative available to substitute it. E smoking cigarette
    smoking is best option available for the time being that can
    substitute cigarette smoking.

  29. yup agree with parker that e-cigarettes are the best invention for 21st century just because it is not only helpful for that particular smoker but also for the whole environment due to it is smoke free and doesnot contains nicotine, reusable.

  30. Ditto. I 100% quit cigarettes with my e-cig, but have little expectation of quitting those. But my health has improved, and I don’t have to stop work to go smoke, so I’m fine with this. When people ask if I quit, I prefer to say I got a “substitute” method.

    But they should also mention more something great: SNUS!!! I get through long flights with them. And although I prefer my e-cigs, I think more people should know about them. In Sweden, a huge number of people have switched to them, with a great reduction in lung cancer.

  31. All the smokers have desire to smoke such a cigarette which is not harmful. So here is the solution for their desire named as e cigarette. E cigarette contains very less amount of harmful toxins so that usage of it is growing rapidly in all over the world. Some researchers have also predict that in very near future e cigarette will replace normal cigarette completely.

  32. Mick Wright says:

    As a manufacturer I’d like to give my 2 cents worth to retailers thinking of stocking ecigs or looking at retaining ecig customers. So here goes for what its worth folks.

    Smokers tend to buy their fist ecig as a disposable cigalike. The ecig market is broken into two distinct groups the cigalikes (ecigaretes that look like a cigarette) and ‘Sticks and Mods’ the ones that look like a pen with a glass tank.

    Generally speaking first time customers are not intending on quitting they want to just give it the old college try or they are simply curious or they want to use it in work. You’ll probably have noticed sales of ecigs increase well before xmas as soon as the weather gets bad because nobody wants to stand outside puffing a cigarette.

    From there the next ‘upgrade’ you should stock is the rechargeable cigalikes. Now we don’t even supply those and you’d imagine that I’m telling you to stock competitors products but there is a method to my madness here. Cigalikes despite what you are told are not a gateway to tobacco, They are a gateway to better ecigs. So the more cigalike ecigs you sell the greater the number of folks you can sell eliquid and upgrades to.

    I’ve known retailers that take in say a starting order of 20 eGo models after they seen how well the cigalikes go and then mark the cigalike down when they see all the cigalike users buying eGo’s… DON’T do this…its counter productive, smokers buy cigalike VAPERS buy eGo’s very few of your customers will buy an eGo as their first ecig unless a friend has one.

    After the rechargeable cigalikes the next move for a new vaper is an eGo model refillable. These are usually a great margin maker and more than that the customer is now a repeat eliquid purchaser.

    The markup on a good eliquid like ours or Halo or Johnsons creek or even Totally wicked and house of liquids in the UK (My competitors) is truly startling. You make what? 15% margin on cigarettes… yeah okay dump that idea right out the window even at a starter order of 30 bottles of our premium juice we give a whopping 53% margin which works out at an amazing 115% markup! The margins are way higher. the repeat business however a little slower. Stock only 10ml bottles and 30ml bottles and put the 30ml’s in the back of the display…10ml is much better for you as customers like to buy two flavours at a go. They can’t afford to do that at 30ml a go…but they can afford to buy 2 or 3 bottles of 10ml at a go.

    Eliquid is bought like wine on taste not primarily cost. The user requires an experience and is willing to shell out a little more for that. Vapers commenting here will likely back me up on that…its all about the taste and hit… so long as the price is not extortionate theres no point in me or my competitors trying to compete on price. That means you should probably give customers a choice of eliquid brands… maybe 2 or three to start with. Ask every distributor and manufacturer to supply you with POS material… and don’t expect to pay for that either. POS works fantastically in this business.

    You’ll likely find customers buy eliquid once or maybe only twice a week from a convenience store at best. 10ml of eliquid will last a few days generally speaking. Its not an every day purchase. So super margin which is contrasted with a lower repeat visit to your store. But its all swings and roundabouts in a new market obviously.

    Anyway any advice I can give retailers I’m on linkedin and at your disposal.

    Mick Wright
    StopSmoke Ireland
    Manufacturers of Emerald Vaping Co. Eliquid and Ecigarettes.

  33. eCigarettes have helped me to quit.

  34. ASH estimates that there are currently 2.1 million adults in Great Britain using electronic cigarettes, Of these, approximately 700,000 are ex-smokers while 1.3 million continue to use tobacco alongside their electronic cigarette use. Electronic cigarette use amongst never smokers remains negligible. http://ecigstoday.co.uk/vape/what-are-e-cigs/

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