PRODUCT INNOVATION

Electronic cigarettes are a revolutionary product, and a relatively new technology. However, the industry has come a long way in a short amount of time – making huge advancements in all areas including legislative, regulatory and design. There are still areas for improvement, but blu™ is committed to helping to advance the industry in any way it can, with more awareness, education, studies, advancements in product design and product availability. With the constant evolution of the e-cigarette industry, blu remains a leader, innovator and driver of the industry as a whole.

History of Electronic Cigarettes

1963 - The electronic cigarette concept first appears in a U.S. Patent acquired by Herbert A Gill. The device is described as “[a] smokeless non-tobacco cigarette [...] to provide a [...] means for and method of smoking by replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavoured air”. The device never reaches manufacturing – perhaps due to technological limitations.

2003 - A version of the modern electronic cigarette is invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. The company he works for soon changes its name to ‘Ruyan’, which translates as "to resemble smoking".

2004 - Electronic cigarettes are sold publicly for the first time with the release of Ruyan’s product to the Chinese market.

2005 - Ruyan begins exporting electronic cigarettes outside China, introducing them worldwide. Europe is introduced to electronic cigarettes by British businessman Greg Carson, under the brand ‘Electro Fag’. Their launch and increasing popularity creates a heated debate in U.K. Parliament, before Parliament decides electronic cigarettes should not be included in the smoking ban.

2007 - Electronic cigarettes are introduced to the U.S market.

2008 - The World Health Organization (WHO) rules electronic cigarettes are not to be considered as a smoking cessation aid.

2009 - SKYCIG is founded, with a goal of having the best product available. The Company spends the next three years focusing on Product Development. Visiting over 50 e-cigarette manufacturers, SKYCIG sets out to create products superior to anything available on the market.

2010 - The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) states it supports the sale of electronic cigarettes to adults. The AAPHP recommends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reclassify the electronic cigarette as a tobacco product, as opposed to a drug device.

2011 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issues a decision stating electronic cigarettes are not drugs or devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes. The FDA is given the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes for sale in the U.S.

2013 - On October 1st Lorillard, Inc. announced its acquisition of SKYCIG following its first acquisition of blu eCigs in the US in April 2012.

2014 - On May 1st SKYCIG relaunches as blu in the UK alongside its sister blu eCigs in the US, allowing blu eCigs® electronic cigarettes to become a leading global brand.

Source: CASSA

Regulatory Challenges

In several countries around the world, electronic cigarettes are currently either banned or heavily regulated. This is commonly due to a lack of internal government-commissioned, long-term studies. While some countries, including the U.S., have since reversed earlier decisions to ban the importation or sales of e-cigarette products, others remain in limbo. The proposal to regulate nicotine-containing products as part of the revised E.U. Tobacco Products Directive was adopted in March 2014. Consultations and reviews of guidelines affecting e-cigs are currently being held in the UK by:

The consultations are being held to look at the way e-cigs are regulated and the guidelines for the industry. This may affect areas such as:

  • The way e-cigs are manufactured
  • The way e-cigs are sold
  • The amount of nicotine contained in e-cigs

blu will continue to evolve within the regulatory guidelines presented to the industry and do its best to ensure actions taken are always in the best interests of its consumers.

blu’s Involvement in E-Cig Policy Reform

blu have met with bodies such as MHRA to advise on the industry and any possible guidelines that may come into place. As a whole, blu are in favour of the introduction of guidelines and legislation to ensure high quality standards and safeguards across the industry. We hope new regulations or guidelines will help to eliminate low quality products that may represent risks to consumers. These products can give new users a bad first impression of electronic cigarettes and discourage them from seeking out higher quality brands. However, blu hopes that we will not see the introduction of overly stringent regulations that may severely limit the effectiveness of high-quality electronic cigarettes, and the helpful alternative they provide for smokers around the world.

The Future of the Electronic Cigarette Industry

Currently the electronic cigarette industry only accounts for a very small percentage of the tobacco and nicotine-using market. However, this percentage is growing rapidly. As one of the fastest-growing global industries in recent times, electronic cigarettes are becoming more and more recognisable. We believe blu will be a leading global brand in the industry, continuing to set the standard high.

blu's Unique Model for Product Advancement

Manufacturing & supply chain

While the vast majority of electronic cigarette brands out-source their product supply to a factory that manufactures a variety of different products, blu owns its own e-cig manufacturing facilities and thus acts as its own supplier. Our factory focuses solely on the production, development and innovation of electronic cigarettes, equipped with state of the art, custom built machinery. This allows for complete control over the safety, effectiveness, design and distribution of blu products. With the vertical integration of blu’s entire business – from manufacturing, to logistics and distribution, all the way to retail and online shopping, we have streamlined our entire supply chain and made a quicker, more reliable and effective business model as a whole.

Customer engagement

As part of its central business model, blu aims to incorporate customer feedback into product designs. Pairing this with our team’s innovative minds, we believe we can provide more convenient, realistic and easy-to-use products. Customer feedback has been at the forefront of major company innovations and improvements.
When you asked us to extend our multi-buy cartridge discount across our entire range of Cartridge Refills and to mix and match for the same great price, we listened – making it possible to order any cartridge flavour or nicotine strength and still benefit from amazing savings.
With the launch of the blu™ Premium Kit, we incorporated many product innovations as a direct result of the feedback that we received. This included the desire for extended battery life and a longer-lasting charging case.
We listened when developing our blu™ Pro Kit too. Customers told us they wanted greater freedom of flavours and a better vaping experience, so we designed our clearomiser with the coil in the base. That way, it’s always covered in e-liquid for a better, more consistent taste. And our e-liquids? Our customers tell us what they want and we develop it for them.

These are just to name a few. Feedback like this from future surveys will continue to drive advancements at blu.

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