Understanding the Chinese Vaping Market

February 20, 2017

Today’s show will be an eye opener since you will get a deep, deep dive into the vape market overseas, specifically China. See the long list of topics we covered below.

David Ettinger is a partner with the Keller and Heckman law firm in Washington DC, and he’s lived in Shanghai for 4 years and follows the market there every day.

There was so much information to cover that I asked him to keep going and we’d create a Part II and that’s what we did. This is part I, which speaks to the Chinese market primarily. VAPE radio show #86, which follows, expands into Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Russia and other areas as well.

What you’ll hear today:

  • The Shanghai office has been open since 2004; David has been there since 2012
  • His background is in FOOD law and e-cigs and vaping was a necessary next step
  • Quality control and regulations for e-cigs and vapor in China are lacking…
  • The tobacco industry in China is a monopoly, run by the STMA and China National Tobacco Company (CNTC)
  • They have complete authority to regulate production, sales, import, export, etc…
  • China will be the largest economy in the world by 2018; 6% of their revenue is from tobacco taxation
  • 350M smokers, 1 trillion cigarettes smoked annually in China
  • Each province in China (about 34) has it’s own BRAND, overseen by the CNTC
  • 7 of the top 10 brands worldwide are included in that list
  • WHAT that that monopoly controls is a big subject. Currently it does NOT include e-cigs, devices, juices, etc… They are outside their control. For now.
  • One 5 sq. mile area of Shenzhen (near Hong Kong) has 600 e-cig producers, plus others than supply components and accessories. There is NO regulation of these “factories” which may be just a garage.
  • 95% of all e-cig products are manufactured there
  • There is minimal to no quality control and some things, like paint, may contain heavy metals or contaminants
  • This lack of QC may be behind many issues here in the US, but 5 years from now it will be more regulated
  • The “definition” of tobacco in China may be expanded and include vape companies. Many will close.
  • Who is the “average” Chinese smoker? Because smoking is part of their culture, children are exposed- and start- very young. 50% of all smokers worldwide, are in China. Smoking around the dinner table is normal
  • Air quality in China is a major problem and smoking is contributing to health issues and early deaths. It is similar to US lack of regulations from the 1960s
  • Cigarettes are cheap in China, about $1.00 US
  • Most e-cigs are MADE in China, but few have been USED there. That is changing.
  • The sheer number of Chinese consumers can make them a bigger player than many large US companies.
  • Two years ago there were few vape shops in China, but they have increased and are impressive
  • Is there a market in China for American products? Listen to David’s answer, but the next two years will tell the tale.
  • CQ: Cultural Intelligence. KNOW IT and understand it.

Would you like to get your product, service or message in front of our targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in the world with more than 1.3 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TEN business podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 other shows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows and we’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you! Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

That’s it for show #85, so until next time, Vape On!

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

 

00:0000:00

TPE May Indicate the Future of the Vape Industry

January 16, 2017

Today’s interview is with Jason Carignan, CMO of Kreket International, and their subsidiary, Phillips and King.

There is one vape event that stands apart from the others and that is TPE. Tobacco Plus Expo is the official name, but most call it TPE for short. The show will be held on Jan. 25-26 in Las Vegas and the good news is that it’s free to all of us in the vape space.

Here’s why I make TPE a “must attend” event and you should to.

This show is an indicator of the direction of the vaping industry. Now that tobacco and vape are considered the same per the FDA, we are brothers in name, though not in culture. Add in the fringe elements of “alternatives,” including cannabis, hookah and similar products, and the unification of these vices may show us the future.

What you’ll hear today:

  • The show has been owned my Kretek since 2009, which was founded 34 years ago, in 1982. Phillips and King is more than 100 years old
  • The show is predominantly focused on the tobacco industry but has expanded into glassware, vapor and cannabis
  • Kretek believes that vaping is here to stay, but must innovate and adapt
  • Consolidation and attrition are inevitable, along with acquisition
  • What is “alternative?” It includes cannabis, but that is becoming mainstream. Hookah is included, ditto clove cigars
  • Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong) will be a keynote speaker at TPE
  • The last election in November may have been the Tipping Point regarding legalization of pot
  • We will see consolidation of smoke, vape and head shops in the future
  • Glassware is a big seller!
  • Phillips & King carries about 25,000 different SKUs
  • The TPE show is at the Las Vegas Convention Center and includes four separate “kingdoms” of tobacco, vape, alternative, and general merchandise with lounges in all
  • All retailers are welcome to attend and they expect 250 exhibitors
  • Education will be offered in the mornings from 8:00-11:00
  • www.tobaccoplusexpo.com
  • The show is free, but not on site!

Would you like to get your product, service or message in front of our targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in the world with more than 1.3 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TEN business podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 other shows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows and we’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you! Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

 

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

 

00:0000:00

2016 Review: Rants, Ravings and Thoughts from Norm

January 1, 2017

Today, no guests. Just me, sharing some wit, wisdom and insights…or possibly not!

As we roll into 2017, we must recognize that the world of vape this year will change at an exponential pace. New regs, new dates to implement them, and the closing of many businesses will provide a shakeout unlike any we have seen before. Last year, in 2016, we saw some carnage, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come.

In this show, I provide a bit of my background, for context, and some suggestions and observations of what may and will happen this year. Some is conjecture; some is assured.

The FDA has pushed back crucial deadlines by an additional 6 months, but my advice is to not wait, but to get on top of what you need to do sooner rather than later.

There are some great tools and resources available to you including the Vape Industry Business Exchange: VIBE. Designed to offer buying power to shops, as well as options for liquid companies, I am proud to be a co-founder of this group along with some amazing other people.

In February, Keller and Heckman LLP, one of the top vapor liquid legal firms will be conducting a two-day symposium with 10 speakers and presenters from around the world. For more information, click here.

This will cover FDA, TBD, worldwide markets in China, Russia and the Middle East, plus litigation updates along with guidance on protecting your IP and avoiding legal issues.

Aside from all that, best to all of you in 2017!

What you’ll hear today:

  • A bit of my background for context
  • An overview of the vape industry since 2013, which leads us to where we are now
  • Updates on NEW and delayed FDA reporting deadlines- and how you should react
  • Litigation updates
  • Thoughts of the new administration under Mr. Trump, Cole-Bishop and R2bsmokefree.org lawsuits in Indiana and more
  • Guidance and suggestion on what you should be doing depending upon your commitment to stay in business
  • And finally, my thoughts when someone asked me if I planned to stay in business!

Best to you in 2017!

Before we leave I want to offer you all a great opportunity. Would you like to get your product, service or message in front of our targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in the world with more than 1.3 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TEN business podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 other shows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows and we’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you! Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

That’s it for show #83, so until next time, Vape On!

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

00:0000:00

Vapor Technology Association (VTA) is Committed to Supporting the Industry

October 4, 2016

Today’s interview is with Tony Abboud with the VTA, Vapor Technology Association.

D-Day, also known as August 8, has passed and the rumblings continue. Many are still unsure what this all means exactly and everyone seems to be playing ball. For now.

Here’s what I sense is happening.

The FDA comes out with this insane, unrealistic and way too over the top regulations. Everyone falls into place, but the problem is that the line that we need to stand behind is obscure.

People are asking: Exactly WHAT must we do or not do? The sampling question is one that comes up the most. Many liquid manufacturers are still unclear of the next deadline coming up in December.

And what is see is some pushback. People are now asking: HOW will the FDA know if I am doing things right or not? Do they have spies on the street? What enforcement power do they have?

The bottom line is that many are going to start being subversive; doing things on the sly; seeing what they/ we can get away with. It will be interesting to watch.

As a matter of fact, today’s interview will talk a lot about regulations and the realities that are in place post August 8. Tony Abboud with the Vapor Technology Association, VTA, will be joining us in a few minutes.

Some other things I wanted to share:

·         The movie that everyone is talking about, A Billion Lives is now almost LIVE! The movie directed by Aaron Biebert which documents the realities of the vaping battle was premiered officially in Aaron’s home town, Milwaukee, WI recently. It was a black tie event! They also had a showing at Vape Jam, OK city. Now they are looking for a national launch and we need your help.

·         I’ll be interviewing Arron on a future show and talk about that and how you can be part of the movement

And finally I wanted to provide some insight on the International Vape Scene.

I was in Europe for 19 days and spoke in Amsterdam and Prague. I also visited Dublin and Cologne. I spoke with people from all over the European continent and especially from Russia and Kiev. And here’s what I see happening.

The Europe market is RIPE for massive expansion. I see it as being where we were in the US from a marketing perspective. There was very little vaping that I saw on the street and very few vape shops. And smokers? EVERYWHERE. I was shocked to see cigarette vending machines on the street in Germany. In the middle of a residential neighborhood. Left me speechless.

I’ll be heading back soon, speaking in Warsaw for Vapexpo and then going to a Paris show. If you are based in that region, please let me know, I’d love to connect.

I also wanted to remind you that we’re opening a new division called PMTA Advisors to help you with options and choices and give you guidance moving forward. This is primarily for those of you that are making juice.

After the interview I’ll have some closing remarks, but pay attention for the next

What you’ll hear today:

  • ·         What is VTA? An advocacy group focused on executing a strategy to save the industry from top to bottom
  • ·         Formed Oct., 2015 with a board of seasoned pros, launched Jan., 2016
  • ·         Working on advancing Cole-Bishop bill to change the Predicate Date from the current Feb. 15, 2007. Cole-Bishop could pass in December.
  • ·         FDA says they will to approve just a FEW PMTA submissions. That means that small businesses are shut down and only the rich can proceed
  • ·         The Predicate date will allow all products on the market NOW (pre-Aug. 8) to remain on the market
  • ·         Many are “on hold” until they see if the Cole-Bishop amendment passes
  • ·         PMTA odds of success project a 5-10% success rate
  • ·         Tony has a long history in lobbying and support of small businesses
  •  ·        VTA was built on three pillars: 1) Federal lobbying, 2) integrated and professional public affairs agenda and campaign and 3) coordinated state lobbying nationwide
  • ·         The next battles for VTA include multi-state strategies against flavor bans and tax bills along with helping to build strong state associations.
  • ·         How to get involved: Social Media campaigns called #wearevapor and www.savevapor.org. Post your shop pictures along with your state representatives photos
  • ·         They also launched a Thunderclap campaign to engage multiple social media outlets and get the messages trending

·         Sign up for their newsletters and get involved with your state associations

It was such a pleasure speaking with Tony. As a Glass Half Full type of guy it is nice to know that me optimism is well placed and that others feel we still have a strong horse in the race.

The future of the vape space will be unpredictable, frustrating, dynamic, exciting and for some- lucrative. We hope you will be one of the survivors as we move forward into this Brave New World.

And I can assure you, we will be here to education, motivate and entertain you.

Do you have a topic you’d like to hear or do you have something to share? Someone you’d like us to speak with? Send us a note to norm@vapementors.com.

Before we leave I want to offer you all a great opportunity. Would you like to get your product, service or message in front of our targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in the world with more than 1.3 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TEN business podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 other shows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows and we’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you! Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

00:0000:00

The Regulations Monster; How it Can Destroy an Industry in One State: Cynthia Cabrera interview

September 16, 2016

This show is not intended to be a scary one, but I warn you,it will be. Halloween is coming and what is happening in the vape world is alltrick and no treat. Everyone is focused on the FDA and of course, they are thebiggest and the baddest of the group, but there are goblins and gremlins muchcloser to you. The FDA is just the point of the spear but there are many thatare following their lead. Some are in your city and some are in your statecapital. Even though our conversation today is about a specific proposal inCalifornia called Prop 56, it is a dangerous sign of things to come.

Today we’ll be talking with someone that many ofyou will know; Cynthia Cabrera, the former Executive Director of SFATANational. She has been a leader in vaping advocacy for years and a friend andsupporter of ours as we have of her. Today we’ll talk about “No on 56” inCalifornia and also about another law on the other side of the country, in myold home state of Pennsylvania.

What you’ll hear today:

  • Cynthia has been in the vape space since 2010 andshares her experiences
  • There is still paranoia and fear but many arepushing back- and some are planning their 2 year exit plan…
  • It’s very easy to do things wrong and be in theFDA’s crosshairs
  • California is a bell weather state and many othersfollow their lead. They are anti-cigarettes, so vape is caught in the wake
  • Proposition 56 incorporates a $2 per packcigarette tax and can increase vaping products over 60%. It looks like it willpass…
  • Pennsylvania tax incorporates a “floor tax” whichtaxes inventory before it is sold and is 40% of wholesale
  • These laws could devastate the vape industry
  • This information must go out to the public,smokers or non-smokers
  • We cannot count on the media for unbiasedinformation and support and they use unverified sources
  • This year and next may be worse for excessivetaxation than any before
  • For better or worse, we ARE tobacco in the eyes ofthe law. For every nail in the coffin in tobacco it puts a nail in the coffinof vape
  • Is there a future in vaping? Cynthia believes so.But it will be different
  • We have two years to fight many off the possiblefutures
  • To contact Cynthia: info@catinggroup.com  phone: 844-6CATING

The future of the vape space will beunpredictable, frustrating, dynamic, exciting and for some- lucrative. We hopeyou will be one of the survivors as we move forward into this Brave New World.

And I can assure you, we will be here toeducation, motivate and entertain you.

Do you have a topic you’d like to hear or do youhave something to share? Someone you’d like us to speak with? Send us a note tonorm@vapementors.com.

Before we leave I want to offer you all a greatopportunity. Would you like to get your product, service or message in front ofour targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in theworld with more than 1.4 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TENbusiness podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 othershows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows andwe’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you!Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have ajuice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can getyour house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks. Contact us here atvapementors.com

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show thatenables you to learn while you’re on the go. To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to theshow from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your deviceof choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free ApplePodcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’llget it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the StitcherRadio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen topodcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now,just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can alwayslisten to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digitalcopy of my book, Vapreneur!

00:0000:00

An Easier Way for E-liquid Sellers to Stay in Business

July 19, 2016

Today’s interview is with Derrick Woods with e-Pure Liquids. His company is offering e-liquid sellers a great option moving forward and what could be a make-sense way to stay in business.

If you are in the liquid business we’re opening a new division within VapeMentors called PMTA Advisors to help you with options and choices and give you guidance moving forward.

What’s prompting this is D-Day- August 8. Things are happening everywhere. New products being launched and current ones being redone.

VAPExpo in Amsterdam and Prague are coming up. Please come meet with me! The first two weeks of august I’ll be touring as many companies and shops as I can. 

If you heard vape radio #78, we talked about a new movie about vaping called A Billion Lives. It is now coming to the US, so stay tuned since it may be coming to a theater near you!

After 8/8 you cannot make any changes to your product. That means any changes. For those in the liquid market that are doing significant volume you must be sure that your lab, or the one you use, is set to upgrade to new requirements. Problem is, we don’t know exactly what those may be. So most are going to the extreme and are making pharmaceutical grade labs.

VAPE U III: Vape Summit. 4 days, 20 hours with 20+ of the most amazing thought leaders in the vape space to educate and empower you. Price is $197 until August 8.

What you’ll hear today:

  • The August deadline will cause many businesses to close- unless they adapt to the new FDA requirements
  • Derrick opened the second vape shop in Kansas City, KS
  • Most are surprised the FDA regulations are as harsh as they are
  • e-Pure has committed to staying in the game and helping other companies do likewise
  • “What is considered to be a new product?” The FDA was not 100% clear
  • ANY changes create a new product
  • cGMP guidelines are not 100% clear, either, but creating a pharmaceutical lab is extreme, but more likely to be approved
  • The process of creating a sterile environment can cost tens of thousands of dollars
  • e-Pure starting prepping and upgrading their labs last year, expecting the worse, and are laying a foundation that other companies can join
  • A PMTA can contain multiple flavors, each treated differently and separately
  • The “base files” will be the same for all flavors, but just requires an “add on”
  • Theoretically, getting approval of a low MG and a high MG flavor should allow the ones in the middle to be more easily approved
  • e-Pure will amortize the costs per bottle rather than charge a large upfront fee
  • In the future the number of products may be in the hundreds rather than thousands
  • PMTA Advisors, a new division of VapeMentors, can help you adapt to the new rules
  • The enforceability of the new regulations are unknown

The future of the vape space will be unpredictable, frustrating, dynamic, exciting and for some- lucrative. We hope you will be one of the survivors as we move forward into this Brave New World.

And I can assure you, we will be here to education, motivate and entertain you.

Do you have a topic you’d like to hear or do you have something to share? Someone you’d like us to speak with? Send us a note to norm@vapementors.com.

Before we leave I want to offer you all a great opportunity. Would you like to get your product, service or message in front of our targeted vaping audience?

Vape Radio is the largest vape radio show in the world with more than 1.3 million downloads since 2014, and one of the TOP TEN business podcasts of 2015 on Podbean, beating out more than 130,000 other shows. For just $750 you get your company integrated within THREE shows and we’re looking for TWO more advertisers to fill our spots; how about you! Contact norm@vapementors.com.

Top10Podcastof2015badge.png

That’s it for show #80, so until next time, Vape On!

Are you concerned about PMTA? Do you not have a juice line and want one? Level 13 offers you a turnkey program that can get your house brand on your shelves in just a few weeks.

A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to learn while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to my podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

For iPhone/iPad/iPod listeners – Grab your device of choice, hit iTunes, and find “VAPE Radio.” You can download the free Apple Podcasts App and subscribe within. Every time I produce a new episode, you’ll get it downloaded right on your iDevice.

For Android listeners – Download the Stitcher Radio app (free) and search for “VAPE Radio.”  

For podcast lovers – If you already listen to podcasts and have a favorite directory that you are listening to right now, just hit the “subscribe” button and new shows will be added as we post them.

If you don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of this page.  Just bookmark us!

Review us!

Reviewme2.jpg

If you post a review we’ll send you a free digital copy of my book, Vapreneur!

00:0000:00