Electronic cigarettes or so-called e-cigarettes are a relatively new development on the tobacco market as the trend in dollar sales from 2007 to 2012 shows. Industry experts see high potential in this market, taking into account that a large share of U.S. smokers would like to quit with many of them seeing e-cigarettes as a significant alternative to smoking. In addition, smoking bans are widespread nationwide and most grocery stores decided not to list regular cigarettes in their stores anymore.
Total U.S. retail sales of e-cigarettes amounted to 795 million U.S. dollars for the 52 weeks ended November 2, 2014. The convenience store channel accounted for about 81 percent of total category sales with 644 U.S. dollars. The leading producers of e-cigarettes in the United States include Reynolds American Inc., Fontem U.S. and Logic. For the 52 weeks ended January 23, 2016, Reynolds American held the largest piece of cake with 38.5 percent e-cigarettes market share, based on generated dollar sales.
The usage frequency of e-cigarettes is especially high among younger age groups. The e-smoking devices also made their way to middle and high school: some 5.3 percent of middle school students and 16 percent of high school students reported to have used e-cigarettes in 2015. These numbers show that e-cigarette use has surpassed the current use of every other tobacco category at schools. When consumers were asked what reasons motivated them to try e-smoking, some 39 percent of respondents indicated to favor the ability to being able to smoke inside.
The industry is now awaiting the newly proposed plan of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for how they are going to regulate the evolving industry. The plan suggests having every e-cigarettes product approved by the FDA before being sold on the market.
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