Since 2006 electronic cigarettes have been sold in the UK, but it’s only over the last few months that the media has really started to stand up and take notice.
A market which the industry trade body, ECITA, estimated to be worth under £10m in 2011 is forecasted a value of closer to £250m by the end of 2013; in the UK alone. The worldwide figure is estimated to be closer to £1.3 billion.
It is this growth aligned with the fact that smoking related diseases kill over 100,000 people in the UK every year which convinced local entrepreneur, Matthew McMinn, to throw his stock into the market.
McMinn’s Cotswold based company, Lucky 8s, launched on Wednesday 13th March 2013, which happens to be no-smoking day. Launching on this day is no coincidence; McMinn plans to take on the big tobacco industries head on.
Lucky 8s is positioned as a genuine alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, without the health risks of breathing in 4000 different carcinogens, smoke and tar – the real killer in tobacco cigarettes.
McMinn said “I wanted to create a brand that feels familiar to smokers, which is why, unlike many of the more established brands on the market, Lucky 8s are the same size as tobacco cigarettes. You can even buy them in the same type of cigarette packaging. Again, unlike many existing brands, the look and feel of the brand is like that of a traditional cigarette brand.
McMinn believes making the brand appeal to existing smokers and not positioning it as a smoking cessation device or medicinal product will make the transition from smoking tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes easier.
The sector isn’t without controversy. The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is looking to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes in the UK, which is currently regulated by local Trading Standards offices, and will announce the results of a consultation later in the spring.
Although open to some form of regulation McMinn believes over regulating it will stifle competition in the market and restrict companies in how they can market their products, making it less appealing to consumers. The cost implications of a heavily regulated market would also stifle innovation and new companies entering the market.
McMinn adds “This is a consumer driven market. The astronomical growth is purely down to the consumer appetite for an authentic, healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Take that familiar branding away and it immediately becomes less appealing with less people making the change from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.”
To celebrate the launch and encourage smokers to try electronic cigarettes on non-smoking day, Lucky 8s are offering free refills, worth £9.99, to customers who spend over £24.99.
About Lucky 8s
In 2011 Lucky 8s CEO, Matthew McMinn, read a report that if every smoker in the United States used eCigarettes over tobacco cigarettes, the death rate of smoking related diseases would decrease from 400,000 a year to 4,000. This statistic alone drove him to establish Lucky 8s as a real brand; an aspirational brand that would appeal to smokers and help them with the transition from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, and in turn, a healthier lifestyle.
Lucky 8s aim is to provide premium e-cigarettes to existing smokers, who are looking for a healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Our product range is limited to what we believe are the best e-cigarettes on the market.
Focusing on a core range ensures we provide not only quality products, but also a quality service.
Our mission is to grow a profitable brand; a brand smokers prefer to smoke over any other and a brand that people are proud to be associated with, both customers and employees. Through providing quality products and service and treating our customers, suppliers and staff with respect and by playing an active role within the sector, Lucky 8s aim to be one of the world’s leading e-cigarette companies.
For more information visit www.lucky-8s.co.uk
About Matthew McMinn
Matthew is an experienced strategist and marketing professional with 16 years experience working within leading marketing agencies, delivering strategic and account management support for clients across financial, utility, automotive, fmcg and telco sectors.
His career started 1997 at the biggest direct marketing agency in Europe, Rapp. From there he drifted south to become Commercial Director at Melbourne’s number 1 ad agency, George Patterson Bates.
Matt returned to the UK in 2002 to head up Business Development at Clark Mckay & Walpole until he joined Doner is 2008. He joined the management team at Doner in 2012.
About electronic cigarettes
An electronic cigarette, also known as an eCigarette, vap or an ecig, is an electrical inhaler that vaporises a flavoured liquid into an vapour mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking.
Most eCigarettes contain nicotine, but due to the fact that there is no combustion, tobacco, tar or other chemical substances, it is healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes.
It also lacks the second-hand smoke that accompanies tobacco cigarettes.
Ecigs consist of a small rechargeable lithium battery and a replaceable cartridge (Cartomizer) containing water, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavouring. When you take a draw, it activates the atomizer (which is like a mini kettle filament), this then releases simulated smoke that is actually water vapour.
The electronic cigarette market in the UK is currently unregulated, although Trading Standards work closely with ECITA, the sector’s trading body, to establish guidelines for best practice.
Because tobacco is not involved in the production of electronic cigarettes and there is no combustion, they are not covered by the UK smoking ban or restricted by tobacco or medical regulations.
In terms of the law, it is in theory, legal to smoke an electronic cigarette in any public place including restaurants, bars and on public transport.
Although there are currently few restrictions in the UK, following a period of research, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will make a decision whether to regulate electronic cigarettes and other nicotine containing products in spring 2013.
Matthew McMinn, CEO
Lucky 8s Inc.
OP Box 288
Source: Lucky 8s Inc.