SAN FRANCISCO -- As PAX Labs introduced two new vapor products recently, the ever-morphing state of nicotine delivery appears to be experiencing both strides and headwinds.
San Francisco-based PAX introduced its PAX Era, what it described as a “new vapor platform for concentrates,” and a revised version of its premium vaporizer called PAX 3, at a time when a major manufacturer declared bankruptcy, big tobacco has stepped up its game and federal “deeming” rules have put added scrutiny on new products.
“The lifeblood of a technology company is innovation,” said Tyler Goldman, CEO of PAX Labs. “The development of the entirely new Era platform and PAX 3 device are the result of tens of millions of dollars of investment spent on [research and development] over the last few years.”
Beyond dollars, Goldman says the company’s track record of selling more than 1 million PAX vaporizers and millions of pods for its JUUL e-cigarette are strong indicators of the new products’ success. “I’m confident that we will find an equally high level of consumer demand for the latest additions to our product portfolio.”
Last month, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NJOY declared bankruptcy after the introduction of a new product in 2013 failed to resonate with consumers. Meanwhile, the announcement of federal “deeming” rules this past spring have placed a complex registration process before manufacturers and their new products.
Competition has also stepped up from major tobacco companies, not just nationally but internationally. Daejeon, South Korea-based KT&G is gaining ground globally with the Seoul, South Korea-based Korea Herald reporting that 40% of KT&G’s profits come from countries overseas, including the United States. Geneva-based Japan Tobacco International has launched its Ploom Tech solution in Japan to take back ground already claimed by Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris and its iQOS product, reported New York-based Bloomberg. There is no word on when Japan Tobacco’s Ploom product would be entering the U.S. market.
With regard to PAX’s products, the company’s development team used $46.7 million in Series-C funding in early 2015 to develop PAX Era and PAX 3. PAX Era is the first temperature-controlled, portable-oil vaporizer, the company said. So-called “pen” products have become prevalent in the oil market, but so far have “limited the quality of oil experiences available to consumers,” PAX officials said in a statement.
The PAX 3 is a dual-use vaporizer for loose-leaf and concentrate materials. The product offers selection between three different ovens: a full-size oven, a half-pack oven and a concentrate oven. PAX 3’s heating system provides double the power of PAX 2, delivering consistent vapor in as little as 15 seconds, the company said.
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