E-cigarettes are very popular in American schools. A female middle school student wrote in her diary: “Isn’t it better than having a boyfriend to smoke an e-cigarette?”
| Put on a trendy coat |
In the vaping store run by Steve Baran, “House of Smoke and Smoke”, a variety of vaping products are densely displayed on display cases. “E-cigarettes are my passion,” said Baran, 35, who took out an e-cigarette and twisted it in the middle to see the coiled cotton coil containing e-liquid. Balan pressed a button, the coil began to heat, and the steaming smoke instantly entered the world of electronic cigarettes.
”I think it’s a great cause,” Baran said. He has been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day since he was 16. A few years ago, he made up his mind to quit smoking and by chance invented the e-cigarette product he sells today. The effects of e-cigarettes seem to be immediate: there is no unpleasant odor on clothes and in the car, and the health of the lungs is better than before. “E-cigarettes are an invention for the benefit of mankind,” Baran said.
Tobacco is widely believed to be a sunset industry and that smoking not only increases cancer risk, but it’s not cool at all these days. If someone says he smokes on a dating platform, he will definitely be kicked out immediately. After all, how disgusting nicotine-flavored kisses are. In this day and age of yoga and vegetarianism, smoking really sounds corny.
”We don’t smoke cigarettes, we smoke e-cigarettes. We’re not inhaling aerosols from burning tobacco, but a mixture of vapors from a special liquid made from thousands of flavors, and of course, usually, this This kind of liquid also includes liquid nicotine.” The e-cigarette user said. They believe that vaping is far less dangerous than smoking cigarettes. Moreover, vaping looks cool, and hipsters will post photos of themselves vaping on social media, such as the silhouette of a blonde beauty in the curling smoke of electronic cigarettes.
| Become rich artifact |
Still, experts are debating the consequences of vaping. Some people said that although e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, no one can tell what the long-term consequences of e-cigarettes will be. Another group said that in any case, vaping is definitely better than smoking traditional cigarettes. What is right and wrong is still unknown. But the emergence of electronic cigarettes has indeed brought vitality to the tobacco industry. Whether it is Altria or British American Tobacco Group, all major tobacco factories have launched cigarette alternative products, and the tobacco industry, which has one foot in the grave, is beginning to rejuvenate.
But to the dismay of these big companies, changing the image is not easy, and the development of e-cigarettes has not been smooth sailing. In the United States, e-cigarettes add nicotine addiction to millions of teens. In July 2020, the World Health Organization released a report on e-cigarettes, calling on member states to strengthen the control of e-cigarettes. Germany will tax e-cigarettes from mid-2022, and ban outdoor advertising of e-cigarettes from 2024.
Of course, Baran wasn’t the first to invent the e-cigarette. China’s Han Li is known as the “father of modern electronic cigarettes”. At the age of 70, he often tells the story of his invention of electronic cigarettes to others. Han Li said that he has been smoking since he was a teenager, and he smokes two or three packs a day, but he does not want to die of lung cancer like his father. After college, he became a pharmacist and began researching alternatives to cigarettes. In 2003, Han Li registered patents for his own electronic cigarettes in China, the United States, and the European Union, and became the inventor and patent holder of electronic cigarettes.
Before Han Li, as early as the 1970s, some European and American big tobacco companies had begun to study cigarette alternatives such as e-cigarettes, because they knew how harmful cigarettes were. But there is one problem that has been tormenting them. If you claim that “e-cigarettes are much safer” when promoting new products, isn’t that the equivalent of acknowledging that traditional cigarettes are really dangerous? Cigarettes, however, were the main source of profit for these big tobacco companies, and they could not afford any risks at the time, so they abandoned plans to launch related products until Han Li invented and made e-cigarettes popular.
Han Li’s idea also attracted British American Tobacco researcher Aaron Williams. Williams worked for years to innovate cigarettes with little success. After testing Han Li’s e-cigarette, he immediately decided, “This is it”. This electronic cigarette product well retains the usage habits and aroma of ordinary cigarettes. “This has pushed our research forward tremendously,” Williams said. Now, he has also become a loyal e-cigarette user. At present, Williams works in Southampton, a city in the south of the United Kingdom, where there is the largest research center of British American Tobacco Group, a total of 1,000 scientists are engaged in “innovative cigarette alternative products” research.
Small products, big profits: It is estimated that by 2025, the e-cigarette market will reach 21.4 billion euros.
One day in June 2005, Stanford University design students Adam Bowen and James Moncis showed a sample of electronic cigarettes. “We want to make e-cigarettes a non-addictive luxury,” Bowen said. In 2015, Juul, an electronic cigarette product created by the two, was born. A year later, Juul’s sales were up 800 percent. In 2018, Altria paid $12.8 billion for a one-third stake in Juul, making Bowen and Moncis billionaires.
Entrepreneurs of e-cigarettes have all become sweet treats in the capital market. It’s not just Bowen and Moncis, Han Li’s company was acquired by Imperial Tobacco for $75 million back in 2013. Wang Ying, the founder of RELX, a high-end Chinese e-cigarette product, has amassed a fortune of $9.1 billion in just three years. Electronic cigarettes have become an artifact of getting rich.
| Controversy continues |
The jury is still out on the health effects of e-cigarettes. While there are various studies on e-cigarettes, many have conflicting results and inconsistent data. It is certain that traditional cigarettes will produce more than 4,000 substances during the combustion process, of which 250 are carcinogens, while e-liquid only produces a small amount of substances during the heating and atomization process. Therefore, according to the current level of cognition, the harm of electronic cigarettes is not as great as that of traditional cigarettes. However, many experts believe that research conclusions such as “e-cigarettes are 95% less dangerous than traditional cigarettes” are completely made up. A new study found that vitamin E acetate in e-liquid additives not only damages the lungs, but can also be converted into a toxic chemical mixture.
Electronic cigarettes, originally invented to help people reduce their nicotine dependence, are now a source of nicotine addiction among teenagers. Today, e-cigarettes are flooding American schools.
In addition, e-cigarettes, originally invented to help people reduce their nicotine dependence, are now a source of nicotine addiction among teenagers. Today, e-cigarettes are rampant in American schools. Between 2013 and 2019, the percentage of U.S. students who vaped rose from 5 percent to 27.5 percent. This is a generation addicted to nicotine. Why are e-cigarettes so popular in schools? This is because e-cigarettes are more accessible and more addictive than other soft drugs. Most teenagers have never thought about or know the dangers of e-cigarettes. According to a survey, about two-thirds of teens don’t even know that e-liquids contain nicotine.
According to an industry group, there are currently about 17.5 million traditional smokers in Germany and 2.5 million e-cigarettes. Katrin Schaller, an expert at the German Cancer Research Center, said that in fact, there are very few people who only use e-cigarettes, and most of them are “dual users” – they smoke e-cigarettes at the same time as traditional cigarettes. So, how to distinguish the consequences of smoking traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes? In addition, the quality of e-cigarette products varies, and some e-cigarette products are heated to a high temperature, which will also release more carcinogens.
There is also a serious problem, that is, the e-cigarette industry has also embarked on the old road of the tobacco industry, vigorously conducting political lobbying in various countries to obtain greater benefits. In the United States, the vaping lobby has long been active. They hire lawyers to debate opponents of e-cigarettes and block lawmakers from passing tougher regulations.
Tobacco is a lucrative business. The raw materials of electronic cigarettes are very cheap. The cost of 10 ml of electronic cigarette liquid is only 0.3 to 0.7 euros, but the price is 6 euros or even higher. Industry leader Philip Morris had net sales of $28.7 billion last year and an operating profit of $12 billion, or a gross profit margin of 42 percent. This is the gross profit margin that many companies dream of. You know, Apple’s gross profit margin is only 23%.
How will e-cigarettes develop in the future? According to experts’ forecasts, by 2025, the market value of the global e-cigarette market will rise from the current 16.9 billion euros to 21.4 billion euros. But the debate over e-cigarettes will continue. How harmful e-cigarettes are to the body may take 10 to 20 years to figure out. Now, I am afraid that there is only one thing that can be determined, that is, e-cigarettes have successfully “continued” the tobacco industry.