It was just over a year ago when Spain appeared as though it would be a nation where E-cigarettes would flourish and overtake tobacco cigarettes. Despite the amazing 3,000 vape shops that were estimated to be marketing a wide assortment of e-liquids and electronic cigarettes, things went downhill and now only 300 or so E-cig stores are still going. But as the decline in the market continues, supporters of E-cigarettes around the globe are paying close attention and trying to find out how it all went south.
The national E-cig association for Spain – ANCE – is placing the blame on drug companies. Alejandro Rodrigues, the vice President has stated that pharmaceutical companies have declared war on the business of E-cigarettes, as they push for regulations to be tighter and they lobby the authorities to put E-cigs into a class of medicinal goods so they must be sold through pharmacies instead of independent merchants. Rodriguez went on to explain, “There has been a very intense attack by pharmaceutical companies which has generated bad publicity in the media.”
The spokesperson for ANCE also attributed the issue on an over-condensed market. The lack of vapers in Spain could by no means keep 3,000 shops in operation. At first there were several entrepreneurs who had jumped at the opportunity to enter the market, but so few of them were able to stay above water. What might be the worst part of it all was that several of the vaping business gave E-cigs a bad reputation. No proper instructions were provided for a vaping transition and advertising was poor. The end result was that several inquisitive smokers attempted to vape and were not very successful.
The stress was revealed by one owner of a vape shop when he went on to explain how difficult it was to keep operating in such a current market. When the vaping industry appeared to be booming, he moved out of Italy and into Spain for a financial possibility. Upon arrival in Spain, he came to realise that his own shop was within 220 yards of other vape stores on the same street. He stated that it was “madness” and the competition made it too difficult to keep business alive. The shop owner was quoted as saying “There was a boom for the product here, people thought it was a magic wand for giving up smoking, and no (this wasn’t the case). It seemed like the market was infinite and there would be enough for everyone, and we can’t deny that many of our clients have gone back to normal tobacco, although nobody is going to admit it.”
It has been argued by those experienced in vaping that E-cigs can in reality aid people in their mission to stop smoking. However, the critical part is finding the correct products and carrying out an experienced vaping shop proprietor that can help guide people through their transition. When people do not have top-notch goods and resources, several of them will fail in their pursuit and it’s very regrettable to see such a thing occurring in Spain.
What is your take on why Spain’s E-cig market is crashing?
Is it because there is too much market competition or is it the questionable attempts of pharmaceutical companies?