Electronic cigarettes have been in the UK’s market since 2006, but they started getting media limelight in the last few months. Basically, an electronic cigarette also referred to as eCigarette, ecig, or vap, is an electronic inhaler which stimulates the act of tobacco smoking by vaporizing a flavored liquid.
Matthew McMinn is a local entrepreneur whose company, Lucky 8s launched on March 13, 2013, which also happens to be a no-smoking day. Figures in the market indicate that electronic cigarette trade is forecasted to hit £250m by late 2013 down from £10m in 2011. This is in UK alone. The world market value is estimated at £1.3 billion. The fact that smoking related diseases and complications kill around 100,000 people every year in the UK is what pushed Matthew McMinn to venture in this market.
Lucky 8s’s brands poses as a genuine alternative to the rather less celebrated tobacco cigarettes. The tobacco cigarettes are known to cause health complications owing to the smoke, tar and over 4000 types of carcinogens contained therein. Unlike other brands available on the market, Lucky 8s resemble the traditional cigarette in size and packaging.
McMinn believes that maintaining this similarity will appeal to existing tobacco smokers and make it easy for smokers to relate to this brand. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) however intends to regulate electronic cigarette sale on the UK. McMinn stated that Lucky 8s is focused on offering limited but quality products and services. McMinn notes that overregulation may stifle market competition and restrict how company may engage in marketing endeavors. This may also discourage innovation and entry of new companies in the market. At its launch and in the spirit to attract smokers to give electronic cigarette a try, lucky 8s is offering a £9.99 worth of refill to the customers that spend above £24.99.
ECigarette market is currently unregulated in the UK. Trading standards to establish best practice and guidelines however still applies. Tobacco and medical regulations also don’t cover electronic cigarettes since no tobacco is involved. It is theoretically legal to smoke an electronic cigarette in public places such as bars, restaurants and public transport.