Irish e-cig enterprise boosts economy
The Irish electronic cigarette company Healthier Smoker has announced that it will add 80 new jobs to the country's economy, and estimates that its expanding operations may add as many as 1000 jobs in the coming year. The company currently employs 300.
Of the 80 jobs currently being added, 40 will be located at the company's manufacturing facility in Waterford, near the southeast coast of the Republic of Ireland, an ancient city already known for its fine crystal. The other 40 jobs will be situated around the country in the company's 105 retail outlets and 150 store concessions, according to company spokesperson Stephen Ryan, who spoke on the Newstalk Breakfast show.
Healthier Smoker was founded two years ago by a group of former smokers, and the company website seems to feel no compunctions about claiming that the product enables smoking cessation, unlike other companies around the world that have to pussyfoot around this issue, saying no out of one side of the mouth and yes out of the other.
Even their name proclaims this feature as central to product identity, although the use of the term smoker seems anachronistic, now that most of us call it vaping. A banner marches across their website's homepage, trumpeting "Stop Smoking Cigarettes Today The Easiest Way to Quit Smoking Cigarettes. There's Never Been a Better Time to Quit Smoking cigarettes….. Safeguard Your Health." These Irishmen certainly aren't shy about it.
The enterprise has so far has raised €3 million, and expanded operations are expected to bring in an additional 10 million, funding the new positions. The firm's specialty has been e-liquids, and it has created a globe-spanning customer base, even marketing e-liquids to China, where the current e-cig was invented, to some extent reversing a trade flow that had initially been markedly east to west. Healthier Smoker claims that all of its liquids are made exclusively in Ireland, and of course they claim that this translates into higher quality. Ryan claims a 95% retention rate for customers who try out the product.
The Healthier Smoker website is branching out from liquids into distributing starter kits. They currently offer 11 starters, including V2, eGo, mod, and cartomizer units.
The company's claim to be boosting the economy may help to turn the tide of public opinion toward acceptance of vaping. Toward the same end, the new Waterford plant, which is going from 1000 bottles/week to 50,000, will open up a visitor centre, where people can view operations in the manufacturing facility.
An exuberant Ryan says revenues from the Waterford plant alone could total €100 million in the next 5 years. According to Healthier Smoker, there are about 50,000 vapers in Ireland alone, with revenues up almost 500% and totaling almost €7.5 milion. When you add to that the international side of their mail-order business, the enterprise looks to be an economic powerhouse indeed.