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Old 27.04.2014, 11:44
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e-cigarettes - is there a business?

Hi,

We've come up with a business idea to open a shop where we sell e-cigarettes and e-shisha (that's the hubbly bubbly or hookah) and wanted to bounce off the idea. Ideally my passion is to open a shop for something else but that's emotions talking rather than business sense.

I am an ex-smoker and I wouldn't want to get into e-cigarettes now but I suspect other ex-smokers or quitters-to-be would be more open to the idea.

Do you think there is a market for it here or do you know of someone who started that business somewhere else and how did the business perform?

It is too early a stage to get to the details of the law but any handy ideas for or against starting this would be welcomed.

Thanks
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Old 27.04.2014, 12:37
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

The only question at the moment is the law, especially as the legality etc is currently being debated by various governments and the eu. Do you really want to splash out tens of thousands of franks on a shop lease for something that could be banned within a year??
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Old 27.04.2014, 12:49
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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The only question at the moment is the law, especially as the legality etc is currently being debated by various governments and the eu. Do you really want to splash out tens of thousands of franks on a shop lease for something that could be banned within a year??
Especially something that should be banned, if you are going to quit do it proper. There is a lot of uncertainity about what side effects the e-cigarettes have and they should not be allowed in any location where regular ones are banned.

They also need to extend the bans on regular cigarettes and make them 3-4 times more expensive
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Old 27.04.2014, 13:56
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

There are already shops selling e-cigarettes out there, one in Neuchatel and another in Biel that I've seen so it may be worth taking a look at existing shops to get a feel for how they're doing.
In my opinion it's a high risk business to go into, they're either going to be massively successful in which case you'd be laughing or end up being banned/bomb completely in which case you'd be in trouble.
It depends really whether you think it's a risk worth taking,
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Old 27.04.2014, 14:34
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

Yes there is already one opposite the station at Delémont. Pretty empty most of the time - you'd do well to buy a coffee in the station café opposite and do some customer research - footfall, customer profile, whether they make a purchase (the shop has a glass frontage and as the terasse of the station café is barely 5 metres away, I reckon you could garner quite a lot of information from a day spent there)
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Old 27.04.2014, 14:37
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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Especially something that should be banned, if you are going to quit do it proper. There is a lot of uncertainity about what side effects the e-cigarettes have and they should not be allowed in any location where regular ones are banned.

They also need to extend the bans on regular cigarettes and make them 3-4 times more expensive
What a load of rubbish. E-cigarettes are a great tool in quitting smoking, they greatly decrease the health risks, and Switzerland is a heavy smoking place.

Last edited by Chuff; 28.04.2014 at 09:14. Reason: removed personal attack
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Old 27.04.2014, 15:33
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

No one knows the health risks, and that's the point!! Companies put all manor of shit in there liquids just like cigarette makers put all manor of shit in there cigarettes so you chose there brand. It wasnt so many years ago that everyone thought cigarettes where safe and dr's advised people to smoke them. Times have changed now, thank god
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Old 27.04.2014, 16:29
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

Forget the cigarette part - just sell "e's" ........ there's always business in that.
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Old 27.04.2014, 17:00
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

There are stores in Zurich which sell e-cigarettes, but that isn't their main supply. Would you be selling only e-cigarettes and e-shisha? I think it'd be quite successful in a busy area in the city. I'm just unsure about the regulations for this stuff, but stores like Werner's Headshop sell it for 16+ years olds and they don't seem to be having problems with it.
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Old 27.04.2014, 18:06
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

I'm still in the UK and here the e-cig market seems to be getting bigger, shops are popping up everywhere and most of the people I know who smoke have switched to e-cigs. The smoking ban does not apply to them and apparently they are loads cheaper. The liquids come in lots of different flavours and apparently you can get some without even any nicotine in them It's a big thing here. But it's also a fairly new thing so only time can tell whether it's a trend which will pass or whether these things will eventually replace traditional cigarettes. I'm not sure how interested the Swiss would be though, the culture around there regarding smoking seems more traditional. If there's no motive to switch then people are less likely to. Here smokers are driven outside in the rain to do it, and traditional cigarettes are very expensive. You might have to make the prices very competitive compared to traditional cigs
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Old 27.04.2014, 19:11
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

Much appreciate the input. Regarding the regulations, I'm aware that this is quite early years and soon or later banning will come but I reckon, worst case scenario, the rules will be as fierce for these as they are for cigarettes which with all banning, still have a large market.

I fully agree that it will come and pass - it's likely to be a 2 or 3 years business and then you need to find an alternative. The thought is to start with only e-cigarettes and e-shishas but then extend to a cigar/smoke lounge which still seems to be doing quite good and then a coffee shop would be a natural extension.

Of course I need to do some research about the market and the potential business case but good to hear the successes of some and failures of the others. There's nothing like a real example to serve as lessons learnt.

Thanks all for the positive and negative input. all good.
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Old 27.04.2014, 19:53
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

I am a non-smoker and have been since decades but when I first saw E-cigarettes, 6 or 7 years ago, I was fascinated as I thought that it would become a hit.

It didn't. Well not back then. But I have noticed this past year they are booming now in the UK, and they have started to appear here in Egypt. I actually bought a couple for staff of mine in order to get them off traditional cigarettes.

Apparently they do work well, though I read that in at least one European country, ( was it Switzerland ?? ), they are not allowed to contain any nicotine. But with nicotine they are powerful - usually one re-fill of an E-cigarette equates to one packet of 20 ciggies.

No health risks have, as yet, been detected so, in theory, they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. They also do not have the same risks for passive smokers and certainly are much less smelly and dirty.

In theory, they can be used in enclosed areas such as restaurants, bars, and, I suppose, on planes. But the main reason that they are not being so allowed is because people can not differentiate between them and tobacco cigarettes.

Whether a shop would survive on sales of E-cigarette products alone is highly questionable. In a prime location, for example, Zürich Bahnhofstrasse or in the Hauptbahnhof itself, one would get plenty of potential customers - but then the rents would astronomical.

No, the best way to start is to research out different E-cigarette producers who are not yet in Switzerland and get exclusive representation - and then sell online, and then also distribute to traditional tobacconists and maybe health shops.

I do not believe that E-cigarettes will be banned - unless the tobacco companies find that they are losing out to the new E-ciggies and then they will start lobbying for controls to be brought in !!
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Old 28.04.2014, 09:28
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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I do not believe that E-cigarettes will be banned - unless the tobacco companies find that they are losing out to the new E-ciggies and then they will start lobbying for controls to be brought in !!
Tobacco companies losing out? They will simply switch to e-cigarette production, which many are already doing. http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intel...f-big-tobacco/

The potential market for them is staggering. It's the future.
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Old 28.04.2014, 09:53
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

There has just been a report on e-cigarettes on BBC breakfast.
The doctor was extolling the benefits over normal cigarettes but their long term future seemed far from certain. ( although I was only half listening so may have missed bits)
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:02
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

Have seen loads of shops in France & Ireland.
These shops are dedicated only to the e cigarette.

Also, In shopping centers I've seen pop up stalls and all look very busy.

I think there is a business there. I don't know how it'll be in ten years but right now it seems they are gathering momentum.
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:13
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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Hi,

We've come up with a business idea to open a shop where we sell e-cigarettes and e-shisha (that's the hubbly bubbly or hookah) and wanted to bounce off the idea. Ideally my passion is to open a shop for something else but that's emotions talking rather than business sense.

I am an ex-smoker and I wouldn't want to get into e-cigarettes now but I suspect other ex-smokers or quitters-to-be would be more open to the idea.

Do you think there is a market for it here or do you know of someone who started that business somewhere else and how did the business perform?

It is too early a stage to get to the details of the law but any handy ideas for or against starting this would be welcomed.

Thanks

There are three points that should be considered here, in my opinion:

1. Moral obligation

Recent studies have shown that vaping does alter cells very much the way regular cigarette smoke does. It's not yet clear if this poses a cancer risk or not, but in some likelihood, it does. This would make vaping just as bad as smoking. And personally, I wouldn't want to sell stuff that kills people.

http://www.nature.com/news/e-cigaret...-cells-1.15015


2. Legal issues

In the US, vaping has just been put on the same level as smoking cigarettes and will be regulated as such. The EU is almost certain to follow suit in the near future and Switzerland will have to as well. At the moment, selling liquids that contain nicotine is completely illegal in Switzerland. As such, I doubt vaping is actually used by many to quit smoking.


3. Business model

As far as I can tell, there's already an abundance of online shops selling liquids and I doubt there's any money in it. As most brick-and-mortar shops are already suffering under the massive pressure online shops exert on them, I'd think twice about opening any kind of brick-and-mortar business at this time.
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:16
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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No health risks have, as yet, been detected so, in theory, they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
wouldn't be so sure about that one:

http://www.nature.com/news/e-cigaret...-cells-1.15015
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249784.php
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:31
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

I doubt that E-cigarettes are as bad as a regular cigarette as they do not contain tar and do not appear to harm passive smokers as regular cigarettes. They are also much cleaner. Overall, a much better option than actual smoking. There is so far no concrete evidence that they do kill - unlike regular cigarettes where the evidence is crystal clear.

But it seems that my initial thoughts are correct in that the nicotine refills can not legally be sold in Switzerland, though the importation of them is allowed.





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1. Moral obligation

Recent studies have shown that vaping does alter cells very much the way regular cigarette smoke does. It's not yet clear if this poses a cancer risk or not, but in some likelihood, it does. This would make vaping just as bad as smoking. And personally, I wouldn't want to sell stuff that kills people.
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:36
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

1. Do any e-cigs have FDA or other medical authority approval?
2. Do you know that e-cig you're buying and smoking is genuine (and approved) or hooky?

You only have to look at the market in hooky booze like vodka around the globe to see it's big business on the regular and black market. Oh and some of the hooky vodka could blind you.

Lovely.....chip pan -> fire?
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Old 28.04.2014, 10:38
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Re: e-cigarettes - is there a business?

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I doubt that E-cigarettes are as bad as a regular cigarette as they do not contain tar and do not appear to harm passive smokers as regular cigarettes. They are also much cleaner. Overall, a much better option than actual smoking. There is so far no concrete evidence that they do kill - unlike regular cigarettes where the evidence is crystal clear.

But it seems that my initial thoughts are correct in that the nicotine refills can not legally be sold in Switzerland, though the importation of them is allowed.
They're probably not as bad as regular cigarettes, I agree - but they're also more than likely not harmless and might still cause cancer (which could take 30 years to prove). If they cause cancer, they will also harm passive smokers.

Importing liquid nicotine isn't a problem - but selling it is illegal. That's why most smokers are likely to buy their liquids in the EU, rather than in Switzerland.

I should also ad that I've been using e-cigarettes (and e-pipes) myself - I smoked for a short while in college, some 20 years ago, but have never really gotten over the addiction (I haven't been smoking, but every time someone smokes around me, I nearly freak out because I want one, too :-/ So I started vaping non-nicotine liquids - which takes care of the urge to smoke real cigarettes. After having read the recent scientific studies, however, I have now quit again.
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