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 SKYCIG 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, SKYCIG 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 safe and harmless 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, or because at the time, the dangers of smoking cigarettes are not fully appreciated.
2003 - 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. Later in the year, a New Zealand study on electronic cigarettes by Dr. Murray Laugesen finds that although carcinogens and toxicants are present in e-cigs, they are far below a harmful level. The study states, “smokeless cigarettes are a much safer alternative to smoking regular tobacco”.
2009 - SKYCIG is founded, with a goal of having the best product available. Co-Founder Sam Marks 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. Later in 2010, a survey conducted by Boston University concludes electronic cigarettes are much safer than tobacco cigarettes. In the report, the level of carcinogens in e-cigs is found to be up to 1,000 times lower than cigarettes, and concludes “e-cigarettes may hold promise as a smoking cessation method”.
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 - Study on SKYCIG electronic cigarettes by the University of East London evaluates blood nicotine levels, craving reduction and product satisfaction, finding SKYCIG products have “effective nicotine delivery [… and] reduced craving and reduced nicotine-related withdrawal symptoms”.
Source: Electronic Cigarette Facts
Evolution of Electronic Cigarettes
Before the creation of electronic cigarettes, the available nicotine-containing alternatives to tobacco were limited. There was a huge gap in the market for a realistic, viable nicotine alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Of the products available, none attempted to emulate the action of smoking, and therefore combat the habit-forming behaviour that accompanies a smoking addiction. It is well documented in smoking cessation literature that a large part of breaking tobacco addiction is combating the habitual actions, triggers and behaviours that all smokers develop over time. Consumers who found it difficult to swap tobacco for patches or gum complained this was because "their hands felt empty" or because they enjoyed the action, sensation and experience of smoking a cigarette, which these products did not adequately compensate for.
The only nicotine product to come close to emulating smoking behaviours were nicotine inhalers, which functioned by releasing a small liquid dose of nicotine to the user when inhaled. Many smokers also found these products ineffective, as the sensation of smoke in the throat was missing. This “throat hit” sensation, for many, is directly linked to the psychological satisfaction they feel when smoking a cigarette.
Creating a Realistic Smoking Experience
Electronic cigarettes bridge the psychological gap for smokers. They are a realistic, alternative to traditional cigarettes, simulating every feature of smoking that a tobacco user enjoys: the habitual behaviour, the nicotine craving satisfaction, the look and feel of the device used, the sensation of "smoke" in the back of the throat, and the ability to exhale a visible vapour. Nothing before has come close in realism of simulated smoking. E-cigarettes present a safe nicotine delivery system to the body, without tobacco's harmful chemicals and toxins, and without the absence of smoking’s psychological experience as with patches or gum.
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 demonstrating the positive effects for tobacco users or the products’ safety, or due to heavy government lobbying from tobacco and pharmaceutical companies in those countries. 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. Currently, there is a proposal to regulate nicotine-containing products as part of the revised E.U. Tobacco Products Directive. When this is reviewed, it is possible that electronic cigarettes will be re-classified as a medicinal product, or under another category. At present, not much information has been published as to the likelihood of this happening, or what this may mean for the electronic cigarette industry. As well as this, consultations and reviews of guidelines affecting e-cigs are currently being held in the UK by:
- The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency)
- The Department of Health
- NICE (National institute for Health and Clinical Excellence)
- The European Union
- BMA (British Medical Association)
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 made
- The way e-cigs are sold
- The amount of nicotine contained in e-cigs
SKYCIG 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 customers.
SKYCIG’s Involvement in E-Cig Policy Reform
SKYCIG have met with bodies such as MHRA to advise on the industry and any possible guidelines that may come into place. As a whole, SKYCIG 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 on the market that may be unsafe or hazardous to use. These products, as well as being dangerous, can give new users a bad first impression of electronic cigarettes and discourage them from seeking out higher quality brands. However, SKYCIG 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. In five years, SKYCIG estimates e-cigs will equate to over 25% of the tobacco market, as long as regulations remain fair and to the ultimate benefit of the consumer. We believe SKYCIG will be a leading global brand in the industry, continuing to set the standard high.
SKYCIG’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, SKYCIG 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 SKYCIG products. With the vertical integration of SKYCIG’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.
As part of its central business model, SKYCIG endeavours 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. Over the last year, customer feedback has been at the forefront of some major company innovations. With the launch of the SKYCIG Freedom Kit , we incorporated many product innovations as a direct result of the feedback that we received from our customers. These include extended battery life, a longer-lasting charging case and revolutionary Push-To-Charge technology in response to customers saying they didn’t like "fiddling around screwing batteries into chargers".
Customers also requested we extend our multi-buy cartridge discount across our entire range of Cartridge Refills, allowing them to mix and match for the same great price. In response, customers can now order any cartridge flavour or nicotine strength and still get the benefit of amazing savings. These are just to name a few. Feedback like this from future surveys will continue to drive advancements at SKYCIG.
Scientific Studies & Research
There have been several notable studies & research articles on various aspects of e-cigarettes, including:
- Informa Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapour and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality
- Tobacco Control Journal Research Paper on the levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes
- A 6-month Italian Study on the effects of an electronic nicotine delivery device (E-Cigarette) on smoking reduction and cessation
- Health New Zealand Chemical and Microbiological Analysis: How Safe is an E-Cigarette?
- Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) Rapid Response Report: Clinical evidence for and safety of electronic cigarettes
- Boston University Online Study: Electronic Cigarettes As A Smoking Cessation Tool
- Smokefree Islington: Electronic or E-cigarettes: The Facts
- University of East London Evaluation of blood nicotine levels, craving reduction and product satisfaction of SKYCIG electronic cigarettes
Independent Articles & Reports
The following is a brief list of the many noteworthy articles. opinion pieces and reports on various aspects of e-cigarettes, including:
- ASH Briefing on electronic cigarettes
- BBC News report on NICE draft guidelines
- Independent article on e-cig safety
- New York Times article on e-cigs, regulation and Italian research study
- Guardian Newspaper article on e-cigs and etiquette
- Guardian Newspaper article on public views of smokers and potential e-cig bans
- The Times Newspaper supplement on electronic cigarettes