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An Online E-Cigarette Store – Will it be a Good Business to Start?

Electronic cigarette or e-cigarette differs from the conventional cigarette in the sense that the smoker doesn’t burn tobacco while using it. The world is suffering from untimely deaths of people falling in the grip of lung cancer and other diseases caused due to the smoking of regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been discovered as a way out to replace the traditional cigarettes though both still use nicotine, an addictive drug, for their functioning. According to MHRA (see Q No.22) although the nicotine is addictive but the major cause of ‘smoking related diseases’ are the toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke (regular cigarettes) and this doesn’t happen in electronic cigarette as tobacco is not burnt in it and major substance used in e-cigs is nicotine. As a result, e-cigarettes are considered much safer and lesser harmful than regular cigarettes but still complete safety cannot be assured (as said by MHRA) unless the product is tested and finally regulated by health authorities in UK or any other country.

In e-cigarette nicotine is supplied to the user in the form of a vapor which comes out when the ‘nicotine filled liquid’ in the cartridge is heated through an atomizer, by a rechargeable battery located inside the e-cigarette. This vapor can then be inhaled by the smoker. People who find it hard to quit smoking (as it causes pain when they try to quit due to addiction) are increasingly making use of e-cigarettes from the past few years. If people are addicted to nicotine then same thing can be achieved through e-cigs at low levels without being utilizing toxins and carcinogens as in regular cigarettes. So people are unaffected when they use e-cigarettes instead of regular cigarettes and that is what making this product popular among the users and also it comes in different flavors and designs to entice the users. Also e-cigarettes significantly cost less.

Good Reason to Start

So one good reason to start with an online e-cigarette business could be its growing popularity and usefulness. According to an article published on CNBC electronic cigarettes might encourage hard-core tobacco puffers to cut down on their use of regular cigarettes.  According to a survey results by MHRA (see under no.3), 83% of the e-cig smokers (as response received by 924 users) admitted that they have replaced tobacco cigarettes with e-cigs and won’t switch back and even 41% of them also said that a ban on e-cigs would send them back to regular cigarettes.


The only reason not to invest in this online e-cigarette business could be that this product still not regulated by health authorities of different countries though UK government had already announced, through a press release, that this product will be regulated by the year 2016 once the new legislation comes into force by ‘The European Commission’. Unless e-cigarette is regulated it is in the state of ‘unverified’, and safety and usefulness of the product cannot be assured. Also there is a risk that government may impose complete ban on this product any time if it proved to be harmful or if it encourages new smokers (including minors) instead of simply being used as a replacement for regular cigarettes. Still you are free to sell e-cigs online as the product is still not banned but the major risk could also be that government may confine e-cigs to be sold on medical outlets and pharmacies only to prevent excessive marketing which may encourage new smokers. Considering that, drop shipping would be a better idea for e-cig products prior to regulation.

Things to Take Care to Get Started

Proper Disclosure – If you have plans to start with an online e-cigarette store make sure to disclose certain things on your website. To give you an example, just go to and you will notice that at the footer of the website they have added a disclaimer, saying e-cigs are not intended to be used by people under the age of 18 and also they clearly mentioned that e-cigarettes cannot be considered as a ‘nicotine replacement therapy’. Such disclosers are important to be declared on the website to prevent minors using them and also to tell about the truthfulness of the product unless the product is verified by higher authorities for safety and efficacy.

License – Its important to apply for a medicines license as MHRA (link above) of UK already mentioned that all e-cig products currently being sold will be taken off the shelves by 2016 unless they have a medicines license. This is the case only if you want to manufacture e-cig products and want to sell them on your website as well. If you want to know more if the retailers of e-cigs need to be a pharmacy go to this PDF Doc by MHRA and read no.15 in FAQ.

Advertising – Choosing the right people for online advertising of your website is the only most important factor to explode the amount of traffic you need to increase sales. Avoid cheap offers as those are only from people who don’t care about your business and only looking to fill their pockets somehow. Best is to hire people who are already working for big brands. It may cost you more at the first point but then it will help to cover up all, that being invested, when things will be in your favor by the results produced by them.

Look – The look and feel of the website you will use to sell e-cigs online could be another determining factor to increase online sales. A professional look and quality online support for the product is important to attract more visitors.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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