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Analysts Say E-Cigs Will Hit $1.7 Billion in 2013 Sales

Analysts Say E-Cigs Will Hit $1.7 Billion in 2013 Sales

This year’s e-cig revenue is turning out to be way better than anyone expected. Earlier this summer, BusinessWeek published projections that e-cigs would top out at $1 billion in sales by the end of the year. However, these figures weren’t quite ambitious enough according to this week’s projections. In the latest round of financial predictions, Wells Fargo Securities Analyst Bonnie Herzog set expected e-cig sales at a shocking $1.7 billion for 2013.

Herzog seemed caught off guard by the e-cig industry’s fast-paced growth. E-cigarettes have just become easily accessible in the US since 2007, but in just six years, they have outperformed every projection to date. Even by conservative estimates, Herzog said the e-cig industry had already topped $1 billion in revenue since January 1 when you look at both retail and online sales combined.

In this week’s projections, Herzog credited rising public awareness to the fast growth of e-cig revenue. As e-cigarettes become more available to people in retail locations like drug stores and supermarkets, the sales will naturally grow. Another potential factor could be the steep rise of cigarette prices across the country. Smokers are paying up to $15 for a pack of cigarettes in many parts of the country. E-cigs offer a budget-friendly alternative for smokers that just aren’t willing to keep paying the high prices for tobacco.

E-cig advertising is also becoming more common, which could be another contributing factor in the projected revenue increase. Not only are ads appearing in magazines and on television, but celebrity endorsements are also growing each month. Hollywood stars like Jenny McCarthy, Robert Pattinson, and Bruno Mars are all getting in on the e-cig industry as outspoken advocates for their favorite brands.

Between rising tobacco prices, abundant e-cig advertising, and a celebrity obsession with vaping, electronic cigarettes are picking up steady momentum and rolling towards the day when they will outshine their tobacco counterparts. “We have increased conviction that consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of conventional cigs within the next decade,” said Herzog.

E-cig supporters are relieved to hear such a positive projection after an otherwise discouraging week for the vaping industry. Just days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported the FDA’s plans to create new e-cig regulations as early as October. New regulations would put limits on e-cig sales to minors and possibly even ban companies from selling e-cigarettes online. This would result in a nightmare for many businesses that rely on Internet sales to distribute their electronic cigarettes. Many companies have started selling their products in retail locations just to insure that a new ban on Internet sales wouldn’t tank their businesses completely.

At this point, the FDA’s future regulations are nothing more than speculation. For the moment, we can all sit back and celebrate a big victory for electronic cigarettes as they surpass previous projections and press on towards over $1.7 billion in sales for 2013.

Do you think $1.7 billion is an accurate projection for this year’s e-cigarette sales? Would new FDA regulations cause that number to decline?

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