Coronavirus and vaping – so what is the impact this deadly disease is having on an all ready under pressure vape industry?
I’ve held off looking at this – one because in the scheme of things, and given the cost of many lives, vaping manufacture and distribution seemed a little insignificant given the tragic human side of the outbreak.
And two – as with all major incidents, things tend to move very fast indeed.
However, we have reached out to a number of China’s leading vape companies and it seems that whilst the outbreak is as close to a pandemic as you can get, the situation at the time of writing, is, according to the staff we’ve spoken to, improving daily.
The cornavirus outbreak came slap bang in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations – a time when China pretty much shuts down.
So that means the manufacturers and indeed online shops were already seeing low stocks. Indeed Iceland and Australia are reporting vape gear is low on the ground and whilst stockists in the USA and here in the UK are obviously running low on supplies – there’s no major crisis yet.
So what are the staff on the ground in China’s vape industry saying about the coronavirus and vaping?
And when do they think they’ll be returning to work?
And of course – what impact will this have on the world’s vaping community.
Coronavirus and Vaping – FEELM and SMOORE
SMOORE is one of the biggest if not the largest vape manufacturer in China.
It seems they too are feeling as upbeat as they can be and told me:
Concerning the coronavirus, the situation here in China is much better.
Except the most affected area, Hubei Province, other cities are getting back on track.
Last Monday, FEELM was ready for production recovery.
They say that employees are back so they have no staffing issues adding:
SMOORE, as well as FEELM, is the largest e-cigarette provider in the world.
We’re among the first batch of companies to recover production in the vaping industry.
Together with our big clients from Europe and America, we’ve established disease prevention and production insurance process, much stricter than basic requirements.
At present, all facilities belonging to SMOORE have recovered production to approx 70% degree.
We have enough key materials inventory and staff to arrange, which can fulfil current orders.
As to any shortages, SMOORE says deliveries of their FEELM inside pods are already shipping out:
We have recovered production and started shipments. It’s predicted that our production capacity can recover to the same level as that before the Spring Festival by the end of February.
We believe worldwide end users will soon have access to pods with FEELM inside.
It seems they really are back in business and more quickly than many feared.
The Coronavirus and Vaping – Innokin
Innokin is also back in production and has been for the past 2 weeks!
They say so long as all manufacturers follow the government’s coronavirus procedures – it’s pretty much business as usual with even public transport back in full flow.
Innokin told me:
To fight the Coronavirus people were basically ‘locked down’ in their home town.
Immigrant workers from rural areas could not come back to Shenzhen as usual.
This caused shortage not only in major e-cig factories, but also in the whole supply chain.
However, the situation is improving day by day. Newly affected patients have been decreasing a lot since last week.
Government adapts to the development by changing policies. Now it is much easier for people to return to work in Shenzhen.
For example, suspended intercity buses are being reinstalled.
Approval is no longer needed for a company to reopen its offices or factories after the Chinese New Year. Instead, companies just need to follow all measures against the Coronavirus.
They say they are taking extreme safety measures for their staff and thank the vape community for its strong messages of support and are also particularly upbeat:
Innokin has been helping to fight the virus shortly after the breakout.
We have been looking for protection materials like facial masks, sealed suites and have donated 90.000 pieces facial masks and 4500 pieces sealed suites.
Each day we share information and knowledge about the Coronavirus with all our employees.
With all the measures in place we do not think the production will be affected a lot in the future.
Together with our suppliers we are doing our best.
We appreciate very much the care and understanding from our clients and vapers around the globe.
Great news indeed!
Coronavirus and Vaping – EHPRO
EHPRO says the coronavirus outbreak appears to be coming to an end in China and say it has been extremely well controlled.
But, and obviously, delays in getting vape gear out are to be expected:
We have of course been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, many e-cigarette manufacturers and upstream and downstream supply chains have been unable to resume work after the recent Spring Festival holiday.
The most intuitive feeling is that many people have run out of cigarette cartridges and e-liquid, which cannot be bought online or offline.
The reasons: All the manufacturers need government approval to resume normal operations,and because everyone has to be quarantined for 14 days before they can start work, so almost all companies are delayed by half a month compared to previous years.
I asked what it’s like right now in China – when EHPRO will be returning to work and what message they have to the world’s vapers:
The current outbreak in China has been well controlled and is coming to an end.
At present, most companies have resumed normal operations, but it may take half a month to restore the previous capacity because of the reduction of front-line workers.
Our company has many policies to encourage people to return to work as soon as possible, so the date will be brought forward.
We will resume production capacity in early march as the policy to resume production is relaxed,and I believe the logistics will soon return to normal.
Overall,Chinese government has done very well and the coronavirus is coming to an end.
The impact of this event will soon be over, and we remain optimistic about the prospects of e-cigs.
We have seen the public demand for e-cigarettes stimulated by this matter, and this demand will not change.
It’s refreshing to see just how upbeat these companies are under such extreme circumstances.
Coronavirus and Vaping – Lost Vape
Lost Vape says the actual cost of the coronavirus outbreak on its business is difficult to calculate at this time.
However they say it’s possible there will be a shortage of its products in the short term.
A company spokesman said:
It is hard to say the effect in depth.
I can just say our holiday extended for about a month, during which no production, no sale, but the company still needs to pay the office and warehouse rent fee and the staffs’ salary. It would cost a lot!
Companies also need to stock a lot of things, such as mask, to protect the safety of the staffs before work.
Staff shortage is a problem, but not so severe.
There might be more problems, but I don’t know clearly as I am not running the company.
I am not sure how much storage the distributors or retailers have.
Even the product shortage will happen, it won’t last for long as most companies start to work now.
I can’t confirm when the production will be back to normal, maybe in the mid or the end of March.
Good to see that companies are being made to supply staff with safety equipment such as masks.
VapeSourcing Still Open For Business
Vape Sourcing is a large online vape store that we work quite closely with.
They seem extremely optimistic and as you can see from our recent Vape Deals – are operating pretty much normally.
A spokesman said:
As a retailer, the business of Vapesourcing is not affected.
Our website’s visitors and sales are gradually increasing.
There is not staff shortages.
Now, 90% of Vapesourcing employees are back at work. The remaining 10% of employees are allowed to work from home.
As to sales – distribution and vape mail – they say things are ticking over – there is are a few shortages, and they expect to fully return to work very soon:
Many e-cigarette retailers now are faced with the problem of product shortages, including Vapesourcing.
Many factories are now manufacturing products for orders that are placed before the Spring Festival, and about some orders during the Spring Festival, many of them are out of stock.
These deliveries have no effect, as long as they are in stock, the orders could be shipped.
For example, our US warehouse and Hong Kong warehouse are normally shipping.
CN-SZ warehouse has also been working normally since yesterday.
We may be back to normal with delivery around March.
I’ve also heard that HeavenGifts is open for business and slowly but surely getting back to full operation.
And I’ve also read reports on social media that Fastech has begin marking orders as shipped.
As always its best to contact the websites directly if you have any queries – but do give them a bit of breathing space!
As I said at the start given the human cost of this outbreak, it seemed a little insensitive of me to cover the issue of low vape stocks until things became clearer.
However, Jonny was able to reach out to his friends and contacts in China’s vaping industry and as you can see – things are definitely looking up.
Sure we are seeing the spread of coronavirus and of course our thoughts go out to those affected, but as to coronavirus and vaping – the effect seems – at least right now – not to be a major concern.
Of course that could change in an instance and we shall keep you updated.
Yes there’s going to be shortages – and not just in vaping but across the globe in many spheres given China is responsible for the vast majority of products! In the scheme of things that’s a small price to pay.
We’d like to thank everyone who responded at this extremely difficult time, and wish you good health and all the very best wishes for the future.