"Flavored" electronic cigarettes will ban the sale of the industry and welcome the pain of adjustment

  The Ministry of Public Security, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the Ministry of Education have jointly issued a special work plan to clean up and rectify the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and severely crack down on crimes involving e-cigarettes, so as to effectively protect the physical and mental health of minors.

The special cleaning and rectification work will continue until the end of April.

Xinhua News Agency issued Xu Junzuo

  Our reporter Yuan Lu and intern Yu Meilin

  "Stock up the flavors you like, you won't be able to buy them in the future" "Hurry up and stock up, there's not much left" "The fruity flavors are in a hurry! Hurry up! I'm really running out of hands"... Messages from e-cigarette merchants' WeChat The repeated occurrence of the word "hoard" stimulates consumers to make impulse purchases, and some stores even take the opportunity to increase prices by 20% to 30%.

  On March 11, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued the "Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarettes", which will take effect on May 1.

The "Administrative Measures" stipulate that the sale of flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavors and e-cigarettes that can be added to their own vapors is prohibited, and brand stores may also become a thing of the past.

The reporter recently visited and found that the electronic cigarette industry is facing the pain of adjustment.

  Up to 30% price increase for fruit-flavored pods

  "The price increase is a major trend. Each store has a different price increase. Some stores have increased their prices by 40 to 50 yuan. If you can buy them as soon as possible, you can buy them as soon as possible. Now the prices are getting higher and higher." The reporter came to RELX near Jianwai SOHO in Chaoyang District. At the RELX store, two men happened to come into the store to buy fruit-flavored e-cigarette cartridges, and the clerk kept persuading them to stock up: "Prunes, pineapples, melons, mung beans, and watermelons are the best sellers, and the prices are the best. It has risen by 20 yuan, and the current price is 119 yuan."

  The Ono electronic cigarette franchise store located in Jianwai Street, Chaoyang District is filled with a strong strawberry sweetness.

"Sale was banned after May 1st. Recently, there are a lot of people stocking up. If you want, hurry up and buy it. Yesterday, an old customer bought 20 boxes of coffee-flavored pods at one time." According to the owner, the "Administrative Measures" just When it was introduced, it stimulated a large number of anxious consumers, and the price of a box of flavored pods in the store rose from 99 yuan to 150 yuan.

  The reporter visited a number of brand e-cigarette stores and found that the current prices of e-cigarette cartridges with various flavors have risen to a certain extent, with a maximum increase of 30%.

However, some shop owners questioned the behavior of blindly encouraging customers to "stock up": "The shelf life of pods is only 18 months, and if you buy so many, they will expire."

  Flavored e-cigarettes addicting to teens

  How important is flavored e-cigarettes to e-cigarette companies?

"Abandoning the production of fruit-flavored electronic cigarettes means giving up most of the product categories." An electronic cigarette dealer told reporters that flavored electronic cigarettes account for more than 90% of the current market sales, and only tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes are sold. Tobacco means that a large number of e-cigarette retail terminals face the risk of bankruptcy.

  At the beginning of the birth of electronic cigarettes in 2004, Han Li, the inventor, labeled it as "a product to assist smoking cessation".

However, with the emergence of flavored electronic pods with various styles and novel tastes in recent years, this product has already broken through the label of "assisting smoking cessation", and has captured many young people with "fashionable and fun" "sugar coating".

According to iiMedia Research's "2021-2022 Global Electronic Cigarette Industry Development Trend" report, 60.9% of Chinese consumers prefer electronic cigarettes with rich fruit, food and other flavors, and 68.5% of Chinese consumers prefer electronic cigarette flavors. It's fruity.

  The popularity of flavored cigarettes has also sparked controversy.

In October 2021, the "Research Report on Electronic Cigarette Marketing and Its Impact on Adolescent Health" released by the Institute of Health Communication of Fudan University showed that nearly half of the surveyed adolescents started using electronic cigarettes between the ages of 13 and 15, and in the past 30 days. The flavors most used by teens who use e-cigarettes are fruit flavors.

This shows that flavored e-cigarettes are extremely attractive to young people, and delisting has become an inevitable trend to promote the healthy growth of young people.

  In fact, as early as September 2019, the U.S. government announced that it planned to ban all flavored e-cigarette sales in order to curb the trend of young people vaping e-cigarettes. Michigan has also become the first in the United States to implement a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. state.

On January 2, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a ban. All fruit-flavored vaping e-cigarettes will be banned in the United States from now on. Only menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes can remain on the market.

  Electronic cigarettes or farewell to brand stores

  During the visit, the reporter found that what makes some shop owners feel anxious is the uncertainty of the future of the entire market.

"We are also waiting to see. If the new regulations are strictly implemented, whether we are qualified to sell electronic cigarettes and whether we can only sell one kind of electronic cigarettes are all questions." A shop owner said.

  In addition to restricting the taste of e-cigarettes, some regulations of the "Administrative Measures" have also attracted the attention of the industry.

Among them, Article 20 stipulates that enterprises or individuals that have obtained the tobacco monopoly retail license and are qualified to engage in the retail business of electronic cigarettes shall not exclusively operate the electronic cigarette products sold on the market.

  "No exclusive operation means that brand stores will become history, and they will be replaced by collection stores." An e-cigarette practitioner told reporters that this means that a large number of e-cigarette stores will usher in a comprehensive reshuffle. Product competition will also be more intense.

  In addition, Article 20 of the "Administrative Measures" also stipulates that e-cigarette product manufacturers and e-cigarette brand holders that have obtained tobacco monopoly licenses in accordance with the law shall sell e-cigarette products to e-cigarette wholesale enterprises through the e-cigarette transaction management platform. .

Electronic cigarette wholesale enterprises shall not provide electronic cigarette products to units or individuals that are not qualified to engage in electronic cigarette retail business.

  "This means that in the future, the sales of e-cigarettes are expected to achieve the unification of funds, commodities and taxation through the unified trading platform of the state. Previously, the chaos in the industry, such as collusion, disorderly prices, counterfeiting, and tax evasion, will be eradicated." Zhang Yi, CEO and chief analyst of Media Consulting, said.