The Wells Fargo 2nd Annual E-Cig Conference
Last month, Wells Fargo hosted its second annual e-cig conference to discuss the state of the industry with executives from several e-cigarette corporations and experts from across related fields. Attendees described the mood of speakers as cautiously optimistic but with a deep sense of frustration. The optimism comes from the rise seen with electronic cigarettes in recent years, both in usage and attention. But the frustration comes from the lack of embrace from the tobacco-control community.
Many executives from e-cig vape shops from across the country attended the conference and underscored how electronic cigarettes are rapidly innovating the industry. And Bonnie Herzog, the Managing Director that closely follows the industry for Wells Fargo Securities, indicated her belief that within the next 10 years, e-cig vapers will outnumber smokers.
Yet with everything seemingly going in its favor, the e-cig and vape community has not been entirely well-received. Even though they are proven to be significantly less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarette, which kills nearly half-a-million Americans each year, the tobacco-control community remains skeptical or vehemently opposed.
And just a week before the November 20th Wells Fargo conference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of its National Youth Tobacco Survey. They recorded that in 2013, cigarette use among high school students had dropped to 12.7% - the lowest it has ever been. And during the same time period, e-cig use rose to 4.5%. While this is certainly good news, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids issued a press release that called for quick regulation of e-cigs. Yet these results clearly indicate that electronic cigarettes are not the gateway to cigarettes that many feared.
Altogether, the conference helped shed light onto the industry and the hope of those involved to overcome the dangers associated with smoking combustible cigarettes. After all, e-cigs are nicotine-delivery systems without the components that kill so many of Americans. So whether you use advanced mechanical MODs or the traditional vape pen, you are a part of a rapidly growing vaping community.