PAX Labs CEO Teases 'Fundamentally Different' E-Cigarette

Unveils heat-not-burn vaporizer update, touts upcoming new product

By 
Melissa Vonder Haar, Tobacco Editor, CSP

Pax 2

Pax 2

NEW YORK --The leaders of PAX Labs teased not one, but two upcoming new products from the San Francisco-based vapor manufacturer during a recent Wells Fargo “Tobacco Talk” Conference Call Series--an update to their heat-not-burn vaporizer and what they called a “game-changer” entrance into the electronic cigarette space.

The first new product—the loose tobacco vaporizer Pax 2—is already available on the company’s website.

“The Pax 1 has been a huge success in the marketplace,” said Adam Bowen, chief technology officer of PAX Labs, formerly Ploom Inc., and whose Ploom trademark and model two vaporzier platform was recently acquired by Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Geneva. “We’ve sold well over half a million of these vaporizers, and for a good reason: they have a lot of powerful technology built into them underneath a sleek exterior.”

“It’s not easy to design products like this, but we love that kind of challenge,” he continued. “Now the challenge was to improve upon that.

The focus, according to Bowen and Pax CEO James Monsees, was first and foremost on feedback from their consumers. Some of those updates include a 30% longer battery charge with a USB charging option, a 25% smaller device, simplified assembly with only one moving part (a button)—which makes the device easier to maintain and clean—and more temperature settings.

The Pax 2 will retail for $280 (approximately $30 over the original Pax price point).

“It’s a premium product,” said Bowen. “We’ve held to the premium position in the marketplace. This allows us to reinvest significantly, keeping our technology ahead of curve.”

When it came to the company’s second product “announcement,” Bowen and Monsees were admittedly vague on the company’s yet-to-be-named e-cigarette product.

“I wish we could be telling you more,” Monsees said, promising more concrete details in the upcoming weeks.

Though he couldn’t share a name, pricepoint or launch date, Bowen did promise that Pax’s offering is “an e-cigarette—but an e-cig that’s fundamentally different.”

Specifically, the engineers on Pax’s research and development team looked to solve the difference between how nicotine is delivered in a combustible cigarette versus an electronic cigarette.

“All the e-cigs on the market are basically using the same chemistry--nicotine in its pure form,” Bowen said. “If you look at cigarettes, what you find are nicotine salts: nicotine complexed with organic acid to form a salt. This was a huge discovery.”

Those salts, Bowen said, deliver nicotine in a vastly different way than the vaporization of liquid nicotine. From there, the company went to work reverse engineering the naturally forming nicotine salts from tobacco leaves to use in their electronic cigarette product.

“The result of this is really profound: a night and day difference,” said Bowen. “This new platform delivered, finally, a real cigarette experience.”

Though the proprietary nicotine salt is the primary differentiator of Pax’s upcoming e-cigarette, Monsees promised further differentiation by the sleek appearance (it’s not a round tube with a glowing tip) and premium placement.

“This is a product that is ultimately going to change the nature of the e-cigarette industry,” Monsees said. “This is a market where 60% smokers have tried e-cigarettes, but only about 6% become repeat consumers. That’s a huge gulf. It’s not the lack of category awareness, it’s the lack of consumer satisfaction. We’re trying to close that gap, and this is the product to do so.”