Electronic cigarettes are a revolutionary product and a relatively new technology. But the industry has come a long way in a short time – making huge advances in areas such as legislative, regulatory and design.
There’s still for improvement though. And blu™ is helping advance the industry through awareness, education, studies, advances in product design and product availability. With the constant evolution of e-cigarettes, blu remains an industry leader and innovator.
History of Electronic Cigarettes
1963 - The electronic cigarette concept first appears in a U.S. Patent acquired by Herbert A Gill. The device is described as “[a] smokeless non-tobacco cigarette [...] to provide a [...] means for and method of smoking by replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavoured air”. The device never reaches manufacturing – perhaps due to technological limitations.
2003 - Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invents a version of the modern electronic cigarette. The company he works for soon changes its name to ‘Ruyan’, which translates as "to resemble smoking".
2004 - Electronic cigarettes are sold publicly for the first time with the release of Ruyan’s product to the Chinese market.
2005 - Ruyan begins exporting electronic cigarettes outside China, introducing them worldwide. British businessman Greg Carson introduces Europe to electronic cigarettes with the brand ‘Electro Fag’. Their launch and increasing popularity creates a heated debate in UK Parliament, which decides not to include electronic cigarettes in the smoking ban.
2007 - Electronic cigarettes are introduced to the U.S market.
2008 - The World Health Organization (WHO) rules electronic cigarettes are not to be considered as a smoking cessation aid.
2009 - SKYCIG is founded with a goal of having the best product available. The company spends the next three years focusing on product development. Visiting over 50 e-cigarette manufacturers, SKYCIG sets out to create products superior to anything available on the market.
2010 - The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) states it supports the sale of electronic cigarettes to adults. The AAPHP recommends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reclassify the electronic cigarette as a tobacco product, as opposed to a drug device.
2011 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issues a decision stating electronic cigarettes are not drugs or devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes. The FDA is given the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes for sale in the U.S.
2013 - On October 1st Lorillard, Inc. announced its acquisition of SKYCIG following its first acquisition of blu eCigs in the US in April 2012.
2014 - On May 1st SKYCIG relaunches as blu in the UK alongside its sister blu eCigs in the US, allowing blu eCigs® electronic cigarettes to become a leading global brand.
In many countries, electronic cigarettes are either banned or heavily regulated. This is commonly due to a lack of internal government-commissioned, long-term studies. While some countries, including the U.S., have reversed earlier decisions to ban the import or sales of e-cigarette products, others remain in limbo. The proposal to regulate nicotine-containing products as part of the revised E.U. Tobacco Products Directive was adopted in March 2014. Consultations and reviews of guidelines affecting e-cigs are being held in the UK by:
- The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency)
- The Department of Health
- NICE (National institute for Health and Clinical Excellence)
- The European Union
- BMA (British Medical Association)
These bodies are looking at the way e-cigs are regulated and the guidelines for the industry. This may affect areas such as:
- The way e-cigs are manufactured
- The way e-cigs are sold
- The amount of nicotine contained in e-cigs
blu will continue to evolve within the regulatory guidelines presented to the industry. And do its best to ensure actions taken are always in the best interests of its consumers.
blu’s Involvement in E-Cig Policy Reform
blu has met with bodies such as MHRA to advise on the industry and any possible guidelines that may come into place. blu is in favour of introducing guidelines and legislation to ensure high quality standards and safeguards across the industry. We hope new regulations or guidelines will help eliminate low quality products that may represent risks to consumers. These products can give new users a bad first impression of electronic cigarettes and discourage them from seeking out better quality brands. However, blu hopes we will not see the introduction of overly stringent regulations that may severely limit the effectiveness of high-quality electronic cigarettes – or the helpful alternative they provide for smokers around the world.
The Future of the Electronic Cigarette Industry
Currently, the electronic cigarette industry only accounts for a very small percentage of the tobacco and nicotine-using market. However, this percentage is growing rapidly. As one of the fastest-growing global industries in recent times, electronic cigarettes are becoming more and more recognisable. We believe blu will be a leading global brand in the industry, continuing to set the standard high.
blu's Unique Model for Product AdvancementManufacturing & supply chain
The vast majority of electronic cigarette brands outsource their product supply to a factory that manufactures a variety of different products. blu owns its own e-cig manufacturing facilities and acts as its own supplier. Our factory focuses solely on the production, development and innovation of electronic cigarettes. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art, custom-built machinery. This allows for complete control over the safety, effectiveness, design and distribution of blu products. We own and have streamlined our entire supply chain – from manufacturing to logistics and distribution, all the way to retail and online shopping. This gives us a quicker, more reliable and effective business model.Customer engagement
As part of its central business model, blu incorporates customer feedback into product designs. Pairing this with our team’s innovative minds, we believe we can provide more convenient, realistic and easy-to-use products. Customer feedback has been at the forefront of major company innovations and improvements.
When you asked us to extend our multi-buy cartridge discount across our entire range of Cartridge Refills and to mix and match for the same great price, we listened. Now it's possible to order any cartridge flavour or nicotine strength and still benefit from amazing savings.
With the launch of the blu™ Premium Kit, we incorporated many product innovations as a direct result of customer feedback. This included the desire for extended battery life and a longer-lasting charging case.
We listened when developing our blu™ Pro Kit too. Customers told us they wanted more freedom of flavours and a better vaping experience, so we designed our clearomiser with the coil in the base. That way, it’s always covered in e-liquid for a better, more consistent taste. And our e-liquids? Our customers tell us what they want and we develop it for them.
These are just to name a few. Feedback like this from future surveys will continue to drive advancements at blu.