The electronic cigarette market continues to boom - but where will it lead consumers?
Stephen Dorff looking gruff and masculine, standing by a beach. A hip young couple in stop frame animation. While the aforementioned commercials are relatively new, there have been predecessors to these methods of introducing ecigarette products, the internet reviewer, and vaping channel host.
Vendors who do not yet have a brick and mortar established, or who may choose to remain an online seller, rely upon video reviews and vaping channel hosts to introduce customers to their products and to allow consumers to get a look at what they are selling. Reviewers and Hosts who are offered products to examine perform a service to the vaping community by applying their knowledge of electronic cigarettes and their opinion of the product to give viewers an equitable estimate of what the consumer should expect. The dynamic seems symbiotic enough.
But does it work? Well, that depends on who you ask.
Given that the popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to rise every day, there inevitably exists the growing presence of quick buck schemes. This is not a new aspect to vaping, as anyone who has examined the various “ free e cigarette “ websites that are peppered throughout the internet, or the mall kiosk that will sell you a 510 starter kit for five times the price. One thing that has also remained a constant however, is the ability for the Vaping community to quickly dismiss the vendor who has less than ethical standards, after holding their feet to the fire.
Nobody likes to be scammed. And due to the fact that the e cigarette industry has more online vendors than brick and mortars right now, it falls to the online community to determine a good vendor from a disreputable one.
But is it such a simple process with the Vaping reviewer, or host? It can be fairly easy for a new vaper to be lured in to purchasing a vaping product they really don’t need by a charismatic person with higher than average production values, or a sponsor with a sales agenda in mind. Honesty can sometimes be a difficult thing to come by in the world of business, but when it is merged with the world of electronic cigarettes, it can get even trickier.
The problem lies in the nature of the product itself. Electronic cigarettes are by definition, a means to reduce the harm tobacco has wrought on our bodies. The opportunity and successful transition from smoking tobacco creates a deep seated enthusiasm and obligation amongst the vaping community to help those who have yet to discover electronic cigarettes, or are new to them. We are talking about the improvement of our health after all, and there isn’t anything more important than that, is there? Most vapers would be in agreement to the question posed. But when a reviewer or host presents an overpriced or less than quality product, or a vendor skips out on a sale this represents not only a betrayal of one of our most fundamental values in life, but can turn our faith in the vaping community sour.
What of a business that has nothing vested in the e cigarette industry, other than sales? Can the new vaper trust a Lorillard, or an Altria backed e cigarette? Can a company such as these adopt the paradigm that vapers share, or are they out to churn and burn, all the way to the bottom line? Will one of our more well known vapers suddenly appear at a vapefest touting a Marlboro e cigarette?
All is not doom and gloom, however. If the vaping industry was a jungle of scams, it would not be as successful as it has been. It is a testament to vaping and vapers that e cigarette businesses have grown and thrived from such humble beginnings to be what they are today. It cannot be overlooked that the success of vaping has been the result of individuals who maintain the altruism and enthusiasm alive in their businesses, and it shows in their sales, and in the satisfaction of their customers. People will gravitate towards what rewards and benefits them, whether it is on an e cigarette website or a Youtube or vaping channel. Still the new and even the seasoned vaper has to keep their eyes open, for all that glitters is not gold.