Vape shop owners are worried.
They are concerned that the future of vape as we know it is under serious threat.
But what concerns them most isn’t flavor bans or misinformation or moral panic or even PMTAs.
No, what is causing many members of the vape industry to lose sleep is the recent explosion in the popularity of disposables.
Odds are that if you are reading this, you are probably a member of the vape industry. And if you are, then your best seller right now is probably the Puff Bar.
When it comes to these devices, there seems to be two camps: Those who feel that the convenience and ease of use offered by disposables have allowed them to reach a large number of smokers who would have likely never considered vaping otherwise, and those who feel that these devices are stripping away the hobby aspect of vaping which is what makes this community so special.
And what makes this issue so frustrating is that both sides are right.
However, it is also undeniable that these same attributes, which allow disposables to mimic the experience of smoking as closely as possible, completely strip away the hobby aspect of vaping, which has been the driving force of this industry for more than a decade.
So how should we feel about these products?
Well, we should recognize that they are a tool that we can use to our advantage if we so choose.
Let me explain.
For starters, let’s recognize exactly what these products actually are; they are nothing more than a new and improved cigalike.
How many people do you know who were able to make the switch using one of the original Blu devices (or some other version of it) back in the day? I’d bet a lot. How many of those people eventually graduated to a better, more powerful, more flavorful setup? I’d bet they all did.
The disposables of today should be viewed the same way. They are a great tool to introduce someone to vaping, but eventually the people who use them should be steered toward the far superior devices available to them once they have successfully made the switch to vaping.
Essentially, disposables should be considered “noob sticks”. Great for helping people to get off of combustible tobacco, but not something that anyone should consider using long-term as there are so many better ways to vape out there.
And that’s where we, as members of the vape industry, come in.
It is our responsibility to help people transition from combustible tobacco to a beginner device and it is also our responsibility to then help them transition from that device into the more advanced options.
It may appear difficult (if not impossible) right now as it seems the only thing people want is a Puff Bar, but if we can just get these people to eventually try the more advanced devices, we can make hobbyists of them all.
Because as we all know, as we move someone from a disposable to a pod device, then to a sub-ohm tank, then eventually into rebuildables, the quality and flavor of their vape increases exponentially.
They just need to be made aware of this. We must educate our customers and guide them down the right path.
I have full faith in our ability to accomplish this.
While it may sound crazy now, I absolutely believe that a year from now, shops will once again be stocked with many of the newest RDAs, RTAs, RDTAs, and squonk mods as the recent wave of new vapers start to graduate to more advanced devices in search of a more satisfying vape.
It is just going to take a concerted effort on our part to lead them there.