Skip to the stats# I want to start by thanking the 1,263 people who helped us through summer-fall of 2012 in selecting the flavors, product lines, product features, our name, and our logo. It is not too often that this many people come together to help develop a brand bottom up. After putting together our core team in early 2012, we developed the first round of our brand, product lines and flavors, and then went to the 1,263 respondents through social media, friends, in-person 1-on-1 meetings, and targeted ads to get their input on very specific questions. We used techniques like A/B testing to get us the best possible data without overwhelming those surveyed with the information or products we provided. The process was successful, and 180 Smoke was born in fall of 2012, through a 3-phase iterative development process with 100s of people participating in each phase.
While executing our plan of action through end of 2012, and all of 2013, we felt a huge responsibility, and of course also very motivated, that we had such a wealth of valuable and focused information right from our potential customers. I wanted to update you on our progress, and measure them against our key goals. We at 180 Smoke are very proud of what we have achieved through 2013, and we have so many people to thank for this. We are very grateful for having an amazing customer base, who have referred thousands of their families and friends to us. Moreover, we call many of our customers now team members, spread across Canada, United States, The Netherlands, India and Pakistan. I also want to thank Canada Post, MasterCard, Visa, TD Bank, Square Register, Shop.ca, TeamBuy, DealFind, Shopify, Volusion and Opencart for their services that have enabled us to serve our customers.
Harm Reduction for individuals, and the masses*Based on our survey, which may have skewed data, and possibly incorrect interpretations of that data, but certainly many anecdotal learning, we achieved following:
- Through 2013, we may have helped our online customers avoid at least 9.3 MILLION+ traditional cigarettes. These number do not include our store sales. For example, Toronto store additionally may have helped Torontonians avoid an additional 2.5 Million traditional cigarettes. We have not crunched numbers from our e-cigar and e-hookah smokers but I would think numbers would be staggering as well.
- Our customers used to smoke an average 15.8 traditional cigarettes per day (average across the customers surveyed only). At the time of survey, our customers average cigarette consumption was 4.9 traditional cigarettes per day. This is not comprehensive data so these numbers may be flawed.
- 39% of customers surveyed had smoked less than 5 cigarettes since starting use of 180 Smoke products; 41% of these 39% (effectively 15.9%) already had, or were planning to discontinue use of e-cigarettes within 30 days of response.
- 23.2% of users were using e-cigarettes part time, typically avoiding them at work or near kids, but still smoking often.
- 9.5% had stopped smoking via other means.
- Rest of the 28.3% users had not continued with e-cigarettes for a variety of reasons.
Trees saved by our online customers – Up to 31,000 trees
For every 300 cigarettes, 1 tree is usually consumed. This means, our customers saved roughly 31,000 trees from being consumed just in 2013 alone. Each year, nearly 600 million trees are destroyed to provide fuel to dry tobacco. Additionally, further deforestation is caused by the paper use associated with wrapping, packaging, and advertising cigarettes. A modern cigarette manufacturing machine will use more than six kilometres of paper per hour. (source: http://www.leavethepackbehind.org/tob_environment.php)
Money saved by our online customers – $4 Million to $11 Million saved in Direct Expenses
Assuming our customers used to pay $10 / pack, our customers may have saved $ 4.6 Million, or more, in direct expenses. Or may be a little less. Not to mention several million dollars saved in gums, dry cleaning, lighters and possibly other expenses.
Litter avoided by our online customers – Up to 3,000,000 Cigarette Butts Not Littered +
Through 2013, our customers together may have avoided about 9.3 million cigarette butts, and not littered about 3 million cigarette butts in Canada alone. An estimated 4.5 trillion (non-biodegradable) butts are discarded into the environment worldwide each year. It has been suggested that cigarette butts represent the biggest litter problem facing the world today given that 1 in 3 cigarettes end up as litter. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and can take up to 12 years to break down. This is because the filter is composed of cellulose acetate which is a form of plastic and as most of us know, plastic does not decompose very easily and many forms of plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. (source: http://www.leavethepackbehind.org/tob_environment.php)
STAY Ethically Invested, Socially Conscious, Quality Oriented
We stay true to our core principle to only promote e-cigarettes as a tobacco harm reduction to current adult smokers. As former smokers and practicing surgeons, we would never hope for anyone to start smoking or start with nicotine addiction. We got into this business for personal reasons and though 2013, we never promoted our products to youth or to non smokers. Our marketing team has strict guidelines to only purchase ads from companies that allow us to target smokers. We will continue to do so for all years to come. We work with our manufacturing plants to follow and develop domain specific GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) that must take into consideration both best practices for device manufacturing and for e-liquid manufacturing. While there is a lot more improvement to be made in this area, given its a relatively new industry, we believe that we are leading the pack by working with each manufacturer to make improvements via our iterative improvement process. We collect structured data from our customers about their product experience, and diagnose all faulty products to provide constructive improvements to suppliers.
A customer driven, iterative and incremental development process managed by experts
Through 2013, we continuously involved customers and non-customers in improving our products, flavors and customer service processes. We continued building a very multi-disciplinary and solution-oriented team who are doers and experts in their fields. They share our passion, and work countless number of hours. 180 Smoke saw expansion to The Netherlands, India and Pakistan through q3-q4 of 2013, and more concrete results will come of this through 2014.