In­vestors are lin­ing up to join the vapour prod­ucts mar­ket

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Ka­belo Khu­malo

WITH e-cig­a­rettes hav­ing gained much trac­tion in South Africa and across the globe, en­trepreneurs have also be­gun to in­vest in a mar­ket ex­pected to grow ex­po­nen­tially in the next decade, one such en­trepreneurs are the De Vries fam­ily.

Adrian de Vries, his wife Sharon and daugh­ter Shane founded Vape Africa in 2012 af­ter Adrian and his wife had had enough of smok­ing com­bustible cig­a­rettes.

De Vries said af­ter they had suc­cess­fully mi­grated from tra­di­tional cig­a­rettes to e-cig­a­rettes they saw a mar­ket for vapour prod­ucts.

“Our com­pany started as an al­ter­na­tive to smok­ing, aimed to pro­vide prod­ucts at an af­ford­able price for all who wanted to stop or feel health­ier with less cough­ing and many of the side ef­fects of smok­ing many smok­ers com­plain about,” De Vries said.

Ex­pand­ing

The Cape Town-based com­pany cur­rently re­sells its prod­ucts in 60 Spar stores in the Western Cape and will be ex­pand­ing to other re­gions this year.

While there had been a di­vide in opin­ion on how safe va­p­ing prod­ucts re­ally are, es­ti­mates are that the in­dus­try would con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence phe­nom­e­nal growth in the com­ing years.

BIS Re­search es­ti­mated the global vapour in­dus­try would grow by 22 per­cent by 2025 with a to­tal mar­ket value of R50 bil­lion.

The growth of the mar­ket is at­trib­uted to be a key trig­ger in the con­sol­i­da­tion cur­rently hap­pen­ing in the tobacco in­dus­try such as the re­cent $49.4bn (R663.54bn) takeover of Reynolds by Bri­tish Amer­i­can Tobacco.

De Vries said the com­pany had ex­pe­ri­enced phe­nom­e­nal growth since it came on to the scene.

“Within our first year we sold thou­sands of units to those want­ing to quit cig­a­rettes in the past. We con­tinue to sell thou­sands of units an­nu­ally; the key to be­ing suc­cess­ful in this busi­ness is to sell top qual­ity prod­ucts.”

Last week the Vapour Prod­uct As­so­ci­a­tion held a panel dis­cus­sion on the need to reg­u­late the in­dus­try in South Africa. The body rep­re­sents man­u­fac­tures, re­tail­ers and whole­salers of vapour prod­ucts in the coun­try.

Deon Hu­man, the co-founder of Africa Harm Re­duc­tion Cen­tre, said va­p­ing pro­vided the coun­try’s es­ti­mated 7 mil­lion smok­ers with “a get out of jail free card”.

How­ever, Richard van ZylSmit, head of Lung Re­search Unit at the Univer­sity of Cape Town, said leg­is­la­tors must keep in mind the po­si­tion taken by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion with re­gards to va­p­ing.

“Health pro­fes­sion­als and leg­is­la­tors needed to con­sider that va­p­ing did not pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive to smok­ing that was 100 per­cent safe,” Van Zyl-Smit said.

De Vries said the over reg­u­la­tion of the in­dus­try might lead to the growth in the black mar­ket and in­fe­rior prod­ucts get­ting into hands of con­sumers.

“The low­light of this in­dus­try is the un­cer­tainty in leg­is­la­tion, and how gov­ern­ment in­tends to reg­u­late the in­dus­try. It will be dis­heart­en­ing for gov­ern­ment to limit ac­cess to these de­vices that help peo­ple quit in­hal­ing smoke.”

Kgosi Let­lape, the pres­i­dent of the Health Pro­fes­sion­als Coun­cil of SA, said leg­is­la­tors must not deny smok­ers an al­ter­na­tive that was more ef­fec­tive. “The coun­try ur­gently re­quires less harm­ful, al­ter­na­tive to tobacco smok­ing that was af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble to all LSM groups in South Africa,” Let­lape said.

22% Pro­jected groth of global vapour in­dus­try by 2025

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.