The number of e-cigarette users rises steadily. Not everybody knows that the device was invented and patented in China in 2003. In the Chinese market, the retail price for a single pack of cigarettes is low. Most of the Chinese companies which produce e-cigarettes export their products.
E-cigarettes: import from China
Before jumping into the e-cigarette business, you should check the relevant regulations in your country. The import of e-cigarettes can be:
- permitted (in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Poland, and Russia)
- partially permitted (zero-nicotine products are allowed, but those containing nicotine must meet several requirements – Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand)
- banned (most of the Islamic countries, Columbia, Taiwan).
The legal status is subject to frequent changes. The reason is that e-cigarettes are a relatively new invention, and the pharmaceutical industry is lobbying to outlaw their unrestrained sale.
Electronic cigarettes in the EU v in the US
In the European Union, the import of e-cigarettes is still regulated by the Member States. There were a lot of discussions about introducing union-level legislative measures which may outlaw the non-pharmaceutical sale of usable refills. In the US, there is a debate on whether e-cigarettes should be considered tobacco products or pharmaceutical products. The legal status of e-cigarettes worldwide can be checked here.
How to source e-cigarettes from China?
If we are planning to import a small number of e-cigarettes, several online shops may come in handy: E-Cigar China, China Sells, or Price Angels. You should carefully calculate the shipping expenses. In some cases, buying e-cigarettes at your local wholesaler will be more reasonable. The big orders should be made in China.
The main center for manufacturing e-cigarettes in China is Shenzhen, a city known as the biggest manufacturing base for electronic equipment.
When we order e-cigarettes at a factory, we should remember some things. The e-cigarette is a complicated device that consists of a battery, an atomizer, an inhaler, and a liquid container. The liquid heating process is controlled by a miniature microprocessor paired with a sensor, which detects when the smoker is breathing. The technology is still new and full of flaws, which results in the necessity of repairs and establishing after-sale service. The battery capacity may be smaller than advertised, and some of the parts may be second-hand and refurbished. Therefore the reliability of our business partner should be thoroughly checked. It is worth mentioning that long-term cooperation is the best solution. We should be able to provide our clients with consumables, such as atomizers and batteries.
The number of smokers worldwide is still high: it is around one billion, one-sixth of the world’s population. These people will sooner or later realize the harmful influence of smoking on their health and will start looking for other solutions. E-cigarettes may be their choice, so this sector of the market has undoubted potential, and we all should hope that it would not be changed by unfavorable legislative decisions.