The e-cig sales interferes with tobacco industry. This revolution has started over a decade ago but only now it can be viewed as a real phenomenon as these no offensive odor, no smoke devices have gone from novelty conversation pieces, to finding their way in the hands of millions of former tobacco users worldwide.

Searching for an x-ray of the ecigarette market, Wells Fargo Securities Tobacco Talk have conducted an extensive survey by polling over 30,000 retailers nationwide and came out with some interesting statistics and projections about these devices in the year 2012:

  • $300 million in retail revenue and 2.5 million electronic cigarette users
  • 73 percent of respondents said that ecigs are here to say
  • 35 percent of surveyed participants project an annual growth rate of 40%

Tobacco EndsAlso, among other factors, the accelerated decline of tobacco cigarette sales in the first quarter of 2013 might have been caused by the exponential growth of the electronic cigarettes market. Analog cigarette sales have been in a slow but constant decline until now but Wells Fargo predicts the sales volume in the first quarter of 2013 might be down 4.5% compared to the same period of last year as opposed to the historical average of 3-4%.

This decline was mostly due to economic factors like higher tobacco products taxes, increased gas prices and the decrease in purchasing power but also to the ever growing e-cigarette market as Wells Fargo believes.

Even though it was considered just another novelty device until a few years ago, the e-cigarette has come a long way since then, and some analysts have gone as far as to predict that it might actually surpass traditional tobacco cigarettes sales within the next decade. It may look like a very bold statement now, as the ecigarette market account for less than 1% of the $80 billion cigarette industry but is says a lot about this niche that hasn’t been taken seriously until these last few years.

With more aggressive marketing and better distribution and considered by many as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking, the electronic cigarette industry has really become a competitor for the tobacco business, and it might even reach $1 billion in sales in 2013, more than double the worth registered in 2012.

According to Wells Fargo, most of the tobacco resellers and wholesalers are now selling e-cigarettes too and as many as and 98% of them reported growing sales in the first quarter of 2013 by an average of 30%. An interesting fact is that trial purchases are now outnumbered by repeat sales which means that the ecigarette companies are actually wining over former tobacco users.

Having these predictions in mind, it’s no wonder that big tobacco companies have started buying some of the more successful electronic cigarette brands in order to diversity their product line and to have a share of this rapidly expanding market that will end up being worth more than $2 billion by the end of 2015 as some analysts predict.