While I’m not much of a smoker, I must confess that I actually enjoy puffing a couple of cigarettes when I’m on a night out with my friends. In fact, I can’t really imagine enjoying a glass of the rich flavored Blanton whiskey without a fine cigar. Somehow, the subtle hints of caramel and vanilla in the whiskey complement the nutty core and delicate spice of an Arturo Fuente cigar perfectly.
However, the problem here is that my smoking habits – even though occasional – are actually both expensive and unhealthy, especially because every time I overdo it and feel sick for the next couple of days. Since I didn’t intend to quit my night out habits, I had to start searching for an alternative. And what great alternative I’ve found! Let’s explore the potential of the non-mainstream e-smoking products.
As the name suggests, the e-cigar represent the electronic version of tobacco cigars, a concept similar to the popular e cigs. To summarize, it is a battery powered gadget that contains liquid nicotine which is turned into vapor once you puff. The e-cigars currently on the market are mostly rechargeable and all models have a specific red-glow at its end as well as a sheen (typically made of plastic) that is very visible when the cigar is not “lit”.
What I enjoyed best about the e-cigars I’ve tried so far is that it actually felt that I’m smoking an honest to God tobacco version, particularly since the subtle aftertaste briefly lingers in your mouth, a fact that I never thought was possible. In addition, another benefit of the e-cigar is that you’ll get about 1,000 puffs per cartridge, meaning a quantity that is the equivalent of 10 full tobacco cigars. Suddenly, I have more room in my pockets when I go out with my friends.
In spite of the fact that it is usually very hard to differentiate between an e-pipe and a regular pipe, it is necessary to mention that it will take some time before the electronic versions are perfected. From my only three experiences with the e-pipe I can safely state that even though the device works impressively well, it just doesn’t offer the same enjoyment and feeling as a tobacco pipe. Perhaps I didn’t try the right product, but puffing one was close, yet not quite there.
Nonetheless, as I found out later on, the trick to getting that authentic tobacco pipe feeling is to use the right cartridge for the job. By the right cartridge I mean a stronger one, as weaker cartridges will force you to inhale quite a lot of vapor and that basically defeats the purpose of smoking a pipe. It is necessary to mention that while the strong cartridges are slightly more expensive, they do last a lot longer compared to e cigs cartridges, sometimes up to ten times more if you were to take some customers word for it.
The bright future of e-smoking
When the first electronic cigarettes models were released on the market in 2003, it forced the tobacco industry in a direct and harsh conflict with the developers of the devices, a war that still rages on today. However, it may very well be that this fight is nothing more than a façade. To put it simply, the idea that e cigs are nothing more than a marketing ploy could actually prove true as large tobacco corporations are starting to show an interest in buying out e cig manufacturers.
Let’s take Lorillard for example. After purchasing Blu Ecigs for $135 millions, their new electronic cigarettes products generated an estimated ROI of up to $500 millions. And, according to economic analysts, the market of e cigs will continue to grow significantly over the next five years. Even as we speak, smokers are becoming more aware of the risks posed by tobacco products and a consistent percentage of them turn to e-smoking as an alternative.
Looking at the data provided by a 2012 survey by Wells Fargo Securities, we noticed that electronic smoking products already constitute a huge standalone industry able to generate $300 million in profits annually. While the profits are still way behind the tobacco industry (estimated at $100 billion), the consistent 40% growth leads us to believe that e-smoking niche could turn over a billion dollars in profits over the next few years and become a real competitor for the tobacco corporations.