180 Smoke – 2013 Year in Review

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 specialized techniques  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.

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*

* The stats below are from a sample of customers we surveyed through October and November 2013. Stats are based on sales data, validated against a sample survey of 500 random customers who purchased e-cigarette products. 171 customers completed 100% of the survey, and 132 customers completed at least all required questions but not the optional ones. While the data and formulas were double reviewed internally, the data collection itself was not standardized, controlled or re-validated. Error margins may be large. The numbers however make way for a proper clinical trial or study administered by independent researchers and supported by Health Canada and or the FDA. We believe such a study if done without bias, is much required so policy makers can get independent validation that these tools actually work better than any other tool we have tried in past decades for Tobacco or Smoking Harm Reduction! We already knew this, now our customers confirmed it, and its definitely time the regulatory bodies got their act together rather than waiting any longer!

Any of these stats below cannot be extrapolated to wider scale comments and should be seen in context of the small sample size,

  • Through 2013, we may have helped our online customers not smoke ~ 9.3 MILLION+ cigarettes. These number do not include our store sales.
  • Our customers used to smoke an average 15.8 cigarettes per day. At the time of survey, our customers average cigarette consumption was 4.9 cigarettes per day. Thats a 70% decrease! Nothing can be more encouraging for us than this stat.
  • 39% of customers surveyed had smoked less than 5 cigarettes since starting use of 180 Smoke products, with an average 5.2 months of abstinence from tobacco; 41% of these 39% (effectively 15.9%) already had, or were planning to discontinue use of e-cigarettes within 30 days of response. Our team noticed a significant number of people in this group had intentions to quit however we did not collect enough data to correlate intention to actual abstinence.
  • 23.2% of users were using e-cigarettes part time, typically avoiding them at work or near kids, but still smoking often.
  • 9.5% quit tobacco or cigarettes all together via other means, and many of them used our e-cigarettes for occasional cravings or simply to know that they had an option if they wanted to. The primary methods reported were cold turkey with mentions of Allen Carr’s Easy way to Stop Smoking, or support from a friend or family member.
  • Rest of the 28.3% users had not continued with e-cigarettes suggesting following common reasons. We paid special attention to responses from these clients, and have an extensive list of improvements we plan to implement through 2014 to increase our success rate.
    • “I am not ready” (in ~75% of cases they got it as a gift)
    • “I ran out of refills”
    • “its not that much better than cigarettes”
    • “I don’t want to use e-cigarettes” (in 90% cases they got it as a gift)
    • “It broke” or “I am not sure how to use it properly” or “they are too much work”
    • “I did not like the taste”
    • “I don’t know”

Trees saved by our online customers – At least 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 – $4,600,000 – $11,000,000+ Saved in Direct Expenses

Assuming our customers used to pay $10 / pack, we have helped our customers save at least $ 4.6 Million in direct expenses. Not to mention several million dollars saved in gums, dry cleaning, lighters and dental work.

Litter avoided by our online customers – At least 3,000,000 Cigarette Butts Not Littered +

Through 2013, our customers have together avoided about 9.3 million cigarette butts, and certainly 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 through 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. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring our manufacturing partners are buying the best quality products, such as a Grade-A lithium ion cells, and each part is being assembled in facilities that have certification such as, CE, FCC and RoHS. We require randomized double testing of our batches (before packaging and after packaging) and proper documentation for each batch. Our e liquid bottle labels already adhere to Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, as a recreational product. 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 to facilitate a healthier lifestyle for smokers.

Help every type of smoker

We continue to offer product lines to provide alternatives for cigarette, cigar, hookah smokers. We also offer various levels within these lines to assist smokers of all types — Social Smoker, Casual Smoker or a Chain Smoker.   Tell Us Your Story

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