The e-cigarette frenzy is over.
In their most recent survey of tobacco retailers and wholesalers, analysts at RBC Capital Markets found that excitement around the cigarette alternative has dropped significantly.
Many retailers reported having too much inventory of e-cigarettes on hand.
And that’s a big problem.
E-cigarette use boomed last year — even tripling among teenagers — while the health verdict remains unclear.
Many are unsure whether the electronic devices are much safer than old-fashioned tobacco cigarettes, though some have hailed them as aids to help quit smoking.
While there are still many unknowns surrounding e-cigarettes, one thing is clear: retailers don’t think e-cigs are all that they were made out to be.
And many seem to be dropping the product from their shelves altogether.
Here’s a few highlights from the June survey results:
- 80% of tobacco retailers reported that they now carry e-cigs, down from 100% in December 2014
- 60% of tobacco retailers reported carrying other vapour products, down from 79% in December 2014
- 21% of tobacco retailers who don’t sell vapour products are considering entering the category, down from 70% in March 2014
- 23% of tobacco retailers who do sell e-cigarettes want to expand their offerings, down from 80% in December 2013
And here’s the really damning chart for the e-cigarette industry. Whatever traditional tobacco stores have in stock is it: less than a quarter of retailers plan on expanding their selection any further.
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