To vape, you can buy products that are offered either by the tobacco industry or by manufacturers that are completely independent of it.
For more than a century, the tobacco industry has been manufacturing cigarettes with full knowledge of the consequences for their consumers. They did not hesitate, whether on the composition or on the “technologies” (filters) to modify their products to reinforce addiction or circumvent regulations, without worrying about possible increased harmfulness to their customers.
Since the tobacco industry also offers vaping products, one can ask questions.
How to recognize them?
This is an essential point. How do recognize a vaping product affiliated with the tobacco industry?
Well, it’s not easy! Tobacco manufacturers have chosen – one wonders why – to use brands that have nothing to do with those of their traditional cigarettes. And it doesn’t say “made by the tobacco industry” on it. I found this Internet page produced by the media specializing in vaping and independent of the tobacco industry, which may not be up to date, but there are a priori the brands of the industry is the intention.
If you favour your purchases from specialist retailers, you increase your chances of not coming across products from the tobacco industry because they are very often reluctant to distribute them. They are found more often in tobacconists, even if they can also sell products from independents. In any case, ask the merchant or on the social networks of the vaping community. You will immediately have the answer.
What are tobacco industry products worth?
To be honest, I don’t know. Tobacco manufacturers no doubt claim that the quality of their products is beyond reproach. And in fact, I want to believe it. It would be stupid of them to start playing sorcerer’s apprentices, their interest is rather to offer the cleanest possible products, whether on e-liquids or vaporization technologies. It would be a different story if they were alone in the market, in the form of a cartel as with cigarettes.
I don’t use these products (see why below), but according to my feedback, the comfort of use is passable, ie neither better nor worse than many standard products. They are therefore not poor quality products, but they are not exceptional either.
The price/quality ratio seems quite high, especially since tobacco manufacturers are more oriented towards pods, necessarily more expensive because you pay for the liquid, plus the disposable cartridge, as well as a more complicated production.
Aside from the pods
Pods (or sealed cartridges) are the format preferred by tobacco manufacturers, but they are also found in independent manufacturers. These products have advantages and disadvantages:
- very simple use: nothing to say about it, it’s very easy, you vape, you throw away, no maintenance, no adjustment, for beginners resistant to any complication, it can be a good option, as well only for long-term vapers who do not want to take the lead. The generally mini format is necessarily also very practical, and discreet.
- security: as the products are sealed, it would be additional security for consumers. At first glance, this is a good argument, but it would still be necessary to demonstrate the dangerousness (and greater) of other products and the use of open systems. For me, it’s as if we decided overnight to ban the sale of compotes in the form of large family pots to only authorize individual portions, in small pots or gourds. Same reasoning for flour, detergents, etc.
- each brand develops its proprietary system, so when you buy the equipment you remain a prisoner of the associated cartridges. Of course, this is the goal of the manufacturer, but the depth of range is generally very low, so little choice while the ease of changing e-liquid is one of the essential principles of vaping efficiency;
- the quality/price ratio is deplorable, and the cost per millilitre is much higher than e-liquids intended for open systems;
- and pollution, of course, the cartridges are “composite” (made from several materials), and in addition, they are “dirty” because there are always residues of e-liquids, therefore impossible to recycle. If everyone only vaped with pods, it would be an ecological disaster.
A question of principle
From a quality point of view, there is therefore no real reason to avoid products from the tobacco industry (as long as they do not have a monopoly). You do not risk a priori more than with the products of the independents.
I have decided never to use tobacco industry products. And if one day I can’t buy anything else, then I will make the effort to try to stop vaping, that’s why:
- I discovered vaping on TV in 2013. While I spent every two or three days at my tobacconist, he never tried to talk to me about it. By extension, via its “resellers”, the tobacco industry has never tried to help me by offering lower-risk products, as it is claiming loud and clear today, now that it wants to take the market;
- I smoked for 30 years with all the risks that entail, I got out of it thanks to the alternative of vaping, thanks to products made and distributed by actors who had nothing to do with the tobacco industry, I don’t see why I would give my money to those who sold me cigarettes without ever trying to help me. I no longer want to be a client of these assassins who, behind their fine speeches on the RDR in certain countries, shamelessly continue to develop the cigarette market elsewhere.
Between the specialized shops which refuse to reference its products and the consumers who do not want them, the tobacco industry is breaking its teeth on the market.
Defend the vape
From now on, tobacco manufacturers are not against vaping, it is their way out, their challenge is rather to take over the vaping market in the hope of rebuilding the monopolistic tobacco system.
Those who are really against the vape (some anti-tobacco) support their speeches, among other things, on the following rhetoric:
- vaping is the tobacco industry
- the tobacco industry is evil
- so vaping is bad
This is the (false) story that is told in this incredible report broadcast by ARTE last year. It seems so “obvious” that these arguments hit the mark, especially among political decision-makers who are ignorant of the case, and who therefore have a good conscience in supporting all coercive measures on vaping. By thinking they are hurting the tobacco industry, they think they are doing good.
Consumers, of course, are completely forgotten in this absurd rhetoric. It was not the tobacco industry that invented and above all propagated vaping, they do not hold the market at all, they are just trying to hang on to the wagons. Moreover, and despite everything, what is the logic of criticizing an industry for offering much less risky products?
Absurd. And silly.
In conclusion, not consuming vaping products from or affiliated with the tobacco industry kills two birds with one stone:
- avoid continuing to enrich those who have poisoned you for years without ever trying to help you. Even if they are sincere (I doubt a little anyway), they don’t count on me to help them with their transformation. And frankly, it makes me happy to see them floundering;
- the fewer customers they will have, the less they will be able to increase their market share, and therefore, it helps to pull the rug out from under the feet of anti-vapes who claim that it is only a product of the tobacco industry neglecting the public health benefits of vaping.
Supporting independent players means defending the vaping period, against all its adversaries.