Florida Retail Federation Raises Alarm Over Illegal E-cigarettes

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    On May 9th, the Florida Retail Federation voiced significant concerns regarding the proliferation of illegal E-cigarettes products flooding into the state of Florida. These illicit products, which circumvent approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not only pose risks to consumer health but also create an unfair competitive landscape for legitimate businesses operating in the E-cigarettes market.

    Magnitude of Illegal Products

    The influx of illegal E-cigarettes products has reached alarming levels, accounting for the majority of Florida’s $410 million E-cigarettes market in 2023. Sales of these illicit products totaled $355 million, representing a significant portion of the market share.

    Consumer Confusion

    Consumers often struggle to differentiate between legal and illegal E-cigarettes products, compounding the challenge posed by the illegal market. Florida Retail Federation Chairman Scott Shalley emphasized this issue, stating that the state has become a prime target for illegal market activities.

    Sales Figures and Market Dynamics

    In 2023, sales of E-cigarettes in Florida surged to $410 million, with major brands such as Elf Bar, Fume, and HQD dominating the market. Fume accounted for $162 million in sales, HQD for $127 million, and Elf Bar for $66 million. These figures underscore the significant presence of E-cigarettes in the state’s market landscape.

    Contrast with Other States

    Florida’s E-cigarettes market stands in stark contrast to that of other states, with disposable E-cigarettes witnessing sales nine times higher than those in New York, which amounted to $43 million. This discrepancy highlights the need for targeted interventions to address the specific challenges facing Florida’s E-cigarettes market.

    Call for Action

    The Florida Retail Federation, led by Chairman Scott Shalley, has called upon both state and federal authorities to take decisive action to combat the influx of illegal E-cigarettes products. Shalley advocates for the establishment of a comprehensive list detailing approved and prohibited products to aid retailers and consumers in navigating the market.