Almost every day I read in the papers (or online) something (usually with a negative slant) about e-cigs and vaping...the thing is, as the media becomes ever more saturated, I wonder how all this negativity affects the psych of the UK consumer? I wonder if negativity becomes the ‘truth’ just because of the sheer volume and noise of it?
One thing I did read the other day is that The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had updated its "basket of goods and services", which is apparently something they do each year to keep it current and meaningful. So now it includes electronic cigarettes which says something about their popularity as far as the British purse goes. At the same time they added sweet potatoes and melons, along with mobile phone covers, and mobile phone accessories. CD’s and DVD's were ejected and replaced by downloads and streaming from channels like Spotify and Netflix.
As I read the list of 'in's and out's," I found myself wondering, who are the people who make these decisions? I get it that they want to be certain of a product's longevity and don't want to be tracking anything that turns out to be just a 'flash in the pan’. But please someone tell me, how can the ONS goods and services basket be up to the minute and meaningful when mobile phone accessories and covers have only just made it? As consumers we've been investing in personalising our mobiles with covers, accessories for YEARS?
Have you seen all the eCig ads on TV? No doubt the companies involved had to jump through all manor of hoops and in contorted poses at that... And even then some are withdrawn after one or two screenings. But come on, have you seen the kind of products that are being marketed as "new"?
Last week I saw something that to me seemed a ship that had already sailed. This was a vaping gadget, designed as a very novel flip case, not just an ordinary flip case though, oh no! This flip-case functioned as a personal charging case. Inside this rather flimsy and plasticky looking novelty case, the battery slotted, and there, whilst not being vaped it would be charged. There were slots even for spare cartridges.
PCC's (personal charging cases) have been around since before I was vaping, and the flip case idea reminds me very much of Exhales's retired iPack (except theirs was better looking and made from metal) and the tiny cartridges were those lacklustre ones containing liquid impregnated wadding.... that dry up within hours.....are dry and really not very satisfying when compared to the liquid filled advanced clearomiser devices we use and that aren't on TV.
What annoys me most about the kind of products I've seen advertised on TV is that more than a offering you a vaping product, one that actually works and satisfies, they are made in such a way that they are not be compatible with other products, keeping the consumer tied in to that particular company and product. This effectively harnesses the vaper, who is then denied the opportunity to evolve and develop, at least without shelling out again on more new kit. These product enter the market place with fanfair that has been drummed up by marketing executives in board rooms who specialise in selling and enticing people onto buying into a brand, a name, and a new trend.
Sadly, rather than being a solid and quality vaping tool that will expand as you do,having sunk your 'hard earned' into it, you are now locked into up-keeping this product and are stuck with it. At least until next pay day when you are determined to try again!
It annoys me that they are advertising products that longer-term vapers tried and left behind a long time ago, products that we,having had that experience, would never recommend to our friends and family if they are making a serious stab at transitioning.
Who are these rich and powerful companies? They are the tobacco companies. Why are designing and launching these products as branded e-cigs? Because their profits have been slashed. It's absolutely in their interests to try to reclaim lost business. They want your money. And they will sell you an inferior product, and keep you locked into it so that they get it.
Meanwhile, the media has become adept at producing headlines that will undermine public confidence. Headlines that warn of danger and explosions, with big negative spin stories which somewhere will have small easy to miss paragraph that tells the real story, that the user has used improper charging equipment or procedure. Still, there's nothing like a good dose of negativity and sensationalism to drive news sales eh?
There's no such thing as bad press some will say. But I wonder, is there a danger that, if we get bored of hearing the 'same old same old', something that continually nags us, or that saturates us with nothing new nor positive, in the end we will learn to tune out or eventually cease to notice?