JUUL Labs purchased VMR Products, the parent company of V2 e-cigarettes in a $75 million deal in late 2018. The transaction occurred with almost no publicity.
The Florida-based VMR had been majority-owned by High Praise Enterprises, a subsidiary of Chinese company Huabao International Holdings Ltd. Huabao purchased a 51 percent interest in VMR Products in 2015 for $23 million, and will reportedly realize a $23.5 million profit from the sale to JUUL.
Huabao is a Hong Kong-based holding company that owns, among other interests, China’s largest flavoring manufacturer. Through one of its subsidiaries, Huabao is approved to sell vapor products by the Chinese State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, the government agency that controls the tobacco industry in China.
JUUL Labs has not returned our request for comment, but sources tell Vaping360 that the purpose of the deal was to give JUUL access to the Chinese market. Although e-cigarettes were invented in China, and the Chinese city Shenzhen is where most vaping products are manufactured, vaping is so far a fringe practice in the huge country. A product like JUUL, with government-sanctioned access to the market, could be hugely profitable.
China has 300 million smokers, and the state-owned Chinese National Tobacco Company is the world’s largest cigarette company. About two-thirds of Chinese men smoke cigarettes, and more than a million citizens die each year from smoking-related disease.
VMR Products owns several vapor brands, most notably V2. The company sells cigalikes and simple vape pens, and also dry herb vaporizers. The V2 brand also has a strategic partnership with Turning Point Brands, a small tobacco company that has recently ventured into the vapor industry, buying such brands as Vapor Shark and VaporBeast.
V2 is gone from the market. V2 Cigs loyal customers were left high and dry after the company closed up shop. The announcement on the V2 Cigs forums came the day it was closed. The closing presumably hit the customers of their refill and disposable e-cig products the hardest. It was so abrupt, there wasn’t even time for anyone to stock up for themselves… or even for resale, so that rules out eBay and other online marketplaces to buy V2 Cigs products.
But the market for vapes is vast. Granted, no one wants to be forced to switch brands, but at least there are solid alternatives to V2 Cigs. Luckily for their customers, many V2 Cigs e-cigarettes were not proprietary. That means you can find similar vapes and even some that are compatible with V2 cartridges and batteries. While you’ll be hard-pressed to find the exact e-liquid formulas they used, there are some that are close. You may even find them to be better.
Check out Vapor4life: A company that’s been around almost since the beginning of vaping as we know it, Vapor4Life has the most products compatible with V2, including e-liquid ideal for carts and clearos. V4L products cater to the beginner and simple and easy set-up.
Consider Vapage: Based out of California, Vapage is another well-established, though lesser known, company that caters to similar type products as V2 Cigs e-cigarettes, and they also have compatible products with V2.
V2 Cigs was most known for their e-cigarettes and clearos. These products were all based on mouth-to-lung vaping – similar to a cigarette draw. These simple-to-use products were helpful to smokers looking to quit, and for beginner-vapers looking for simplicity. These products are more modern versions of what V2 cigs sold.
The Kilo 1K: a pod vape with 17 flavors available, each with 4.5% nic salt. The device is designed has a rubberized finish that makes it feel secure in the hand, and the Kilo 1K vapes quietly with no leaking or spitting. The battery is better-than-average at 350 mAh.
Mojo: The Mojo stick is a disposable pod vape that contains 1.2 mL of 5% nicotine salt e-juice. It utilizes an internal battery good for up to 250 puffs, which is equal to about 20 cigarettes. The Mojo comes in multiple flavors and is draw activated, so just inhale and enjoy.
EPuffer Magnum: The Rev-3S features a user-friendly design with magnets instead of screws cart. It comes with a cigarette box-shaped charging pack and two e-cigs, rated for 400 puffs.
SMOK Infinix: Similar to a refillable JUUL. It’s leak-resistant with an automatic and very tight draw. It has one of the fastest charge times at under 25 minutes, and it supports pass-thru charging. Its diamond-shaped body is easy to hold, and the mouthpiece tapers down to an ergonomic shape for the lips.
Innokin Endura T20S: A pen-style kit that comes with one of the best performing MTL tanks. It has 0.8-ohm coils great for flavor and throat hit. The kit includes a 1500 mAh which will keep you vaping much longer than most V2 Cigs vapes.
Uwell Caliburn: The Caliburn is one of the best refillable pod vapes you can get right now. Its 520 mAh battery can be button or draw-activated. The pods snap in securely with a magnetic connection and feature an easy top-fill system. They hold 2 mL of e-liquid and house 1.4-ohm coils that provide solid flavor and a comfortable draw.