E-cigarette Future Hinges on Technology Versus Tobacco

E-cigarette Future Hinges on Technology Versus Tobacco

A recent article by Melissa Vonder Haar for CSPnet.com raises an interesting point regarding electronic cigarettes.  As packaging machine manufacturers, we have seen quite a surge in companies producing e-liquids.  In fact, in 2013, the filling machines, capping machines and other packaging equipment produced by our company for e-liquids outpaced many other industries.  These new companies are banking on the fact that electronic cigarettes are around for the long haul, but that decision may not belong to the consumer alone.

It can be argued that electronic cigarettes are caught in a kind of industry limbo.  On the one hand, there are already regulations in some areas that outlaw the use of the product much like tobacco is outlawed.  On the other hand, you have companies working to improve the technology behind the product, like you would expect of cell phone and computer companies.  

As these two industries play tug of war for the right to call electronic cigarettes their own, the legislature in several areas are not content to wait for the outcome.  New York and Chicago have already put limits and bans on the e-cigs, while supporters argue that water vapor is not the same as cigarette smoke.  Should the bans continue, it seems almost a sure thing that electronic cigarettes will be treated more like tobacco and become heavily regulated, a burden that may be tough for a newer industry to overcome.  However, technology may be the weapon to fight against such a classification.

E-cigarette technology is new, and as with any technology, can be expected to improve as competing companies via for consumer dollars.  E-cigarette technology is also not as limited as non-electronic tobacco products.  Just as phones have incorporated many components of computers, such as email and web browsing, e-cigarettes have the potential to improve over time.  What these improvements may consist of remains to be seen, but based on regulation alone, pulling e-cigs into the technology sector versus the tobacco sector will be good for the industry.

Unfortunately, the industry will have an uphill battle if areas follow the lead of Chicago and New York and ban e-cigarettes a la other tobacco products.  In this scenario, the race for technology includes a race against lawmakers.  For now, the packagers of e-juice continue to expand and the industry is most definitely in a boom.  The longevity of that boom, however, is most certainly uncertain.

Read Melissa Vonder Haar's article on CSPnet.com.