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How the web giants negotiate the global complexities of e-cig regulation

Amazon sells no e-cigarette products in the US, but does allow “permitted sellers” to sell non-nicotine products in several European countries, including the UK, through Amazon Marketplace – as long as they can prove they have an effective age verification system.

That is among the findings of an ECigIntelligence market report into the impact of the internet’s mega-retailers and the various ways they negotiate regulations which vary in detail and severity from country to country.

It says retail platforms such as eBay, Tmall and JD.com have had a limited effect on the e-cigarette market so far but have potential to become more significant.

In China, for example the vast majority of e-cig sales take place online, whereas in the UK it’s only a small minority. Online sales do have the potential to become much more important in the UK, however.

A key advantage of online retail in the future could be ready access to a wider variety of flavours and different strength products for customers wishing to be more experimental.

The report also says social media is a valuable way to reach out to consumers but care must be taken not to breach rules. Facebook, for example, does not allow advertising of e-cig products, but does host brand pages and discussion groups.

– ECigIntelligence staff

ECigIntelligence does not provide legal, strategic or investment advice. Tamarind Media Limited, the publisher of ECigIntelligence, does not accept any liability or responsibility for information or views published.
Please see this page for a detailed description of our methodology.

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