E-Cigarettes Slowly Catching on with Retailers

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are slowly becoming more popular with retailers, Convenience Store News reports. Many retailers continue to take a “wait and see” approach to the products, before deciding whether to assign them shelf space.

A survey conducted by the publication earlier this year found 11 percent of retailers said they planned to test e-cigarettes this year, and another 25 percent said they were evaluating them.

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated. E-cigarettes often are made to look like regular cigarettes.

Convenience stores are most successful in selling disposable varieties of e-cigarettes, because they are cheaper–$9.99 on average, compared with e-cigarette starter kits, which include an atomizer, batteries, chargers and refill cartridges, and can range in price from $50 to $100 or more, according to the article.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, treating them the same as traditional cigarettes. The FDA said it will not try to regulate e-cigarettes under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices.