Julia’s 2016 Predictions In The Ashtray Blog

Each year The Ashtray Blog, a treasure trove for the vape community based in the UK, invites the top vape-bloggers to give testimony for what they believe the new year brings with regards to the electronic cigarette industry. It is always informative to see what other YouTube video reviewers and online publication reviewers and columnists have to say about what they see coming.

This year, Julia Hartley-Barnes was invited (John Manzione participated last year, 2014, and Julia the year before that, 2013.) Julia is in very good company, included in the piece were;  Konstantinos Farsalinos, MD,  Clive Bates, Tim Phillips, Lorien Jollye, Jim McManus, Oliver Kershaw, Aaron Biebert (A Billion Lives!), Dimitris aka The Vaping Greek, Dick Puddlecote, Scott Bonner, and Joe Petner, heavy hitters all.

Below we’ve reprinted Julia’s predictions below, and we would love to hear what you think about them. Additionally, we’ve provided a couple of links to the Ashtray Blog’s feature article so that you can pop over the pond to read the other 11 bloggers prediction for the coming year. – Dave

The Trend Toward High VG and Lower Nicotine levels Will Continue And Grow

Julia Hartley-Barnes, Spinfuel Magazine

We’ve been very lucky these past few years. Escaping major regulations, the industry has been growing on a global scale. Will our luck run out in 2016? Maybe.

I tend to be pessimistic when governments get involved in anything, and I see no reason for optimism now. It might be that we see no changes next year, or the year after, but it cannot continue indefinitely.

Below are some thoughts on things that could happen next year, based on experience and reading as much ‘negative’ news as I can. Only by knowing what the anti-vaping crowd is saying and doing can we understand how far they are willing to go. We know what we believe, but it is even more important to know what “they” believe. – Julia

Vape Gear

1 – This year (2015) we’ve reviewed so many excellent high VG e-liquids that I believe the trend toward High VG and lower nicotine levels will definitely continue and grow. With these “better” eliquids come even more high wattage vaping instruments and lower resistance atomizers. But how high can you go before it gets too high, and how much lower can low resistance coils get? At some point we all have to say “when”. That could come in 2016.


2 – China’s Planned Obsolesce for vaping products will continue in 2016. Unfortunately, this planned obsolesce doesn’t equate to much innovation. Most of the products to come out of China this year have been incremental improvements, laid out according to this ‘plan’, without significantly true innovation behind these new products.

I believe that in the latter part of 2016 more vapers will come to the conclusion that what they have is fine, and will begin to turn away from every new “version” of the products they use because the benefits of the newer version are not enough to warrant the expense. Perhaps more vapers will begin to turn to US made devices, as they have done with e-liquids back in early 2013.


3 – As FDA regulations get closer to becoming a reality we should see weak vendors begin to bale out. Even if the FDA doesn’t do anything brash we can all expect to pay more for vape gear and e-liquids, consumers and wholesalers. I’ve seen a few of my friends get out of the business this year, and I expect to see more in 2016.


4 – If we are pretending that it will be business as usual in 2016 I suspect we’ll see many new start-ups in China trying to take a slice of the multi-billion-dollar market. Whether any of them make any headroom into the marketplace is anybody’s guess. The major manufacturers have a tight grip right now, so it will take vastly improved devices to see them show up on the radar. I’m not confident in the concept of honest competition in China.

5 – Without a constantly growing Chinese economy there will be massive shortcuts in production to protect profits. If the vaping industry slows down due to regulations around the world or by lack of innovation, or anything else, I expect to see more catastrophic failures of vape gear in consumer’s hands. This could (will) lead to more regulations, tighter controls, a fearful public. A single major incident could wreak havoc on the industry.

Lithium Polymer

6 – I don’t expect to see a major improvement with lithium based batteries in the vape industry or anywhere else in 2016, but I expect to see more Lithium Polymer driven devices in 2016.

EU Tobacco Directive

7 – It is hard to imagine European governments deliberately killing the vape industry in their respective countries, but that could very well happen in May of 2016 when new directives for “tobacco products” take hold. It would take a miracle for any EU government to recognize that the products sold for vaping are not tobacco products. There isn’t much faith of a “Knight on a White horse” rushing in to save the day. I could be wrong, but I believe classifying vape gear and eliquid as tobacco products will become official and Europe will feel the pinch in a big way by years’ end.