A vape icon says goodbye

One of the pioneers of vaping is gone, killed by the uncertainty imposed by the FDA’s deeming regulations and its own inability to compete in a market it helped create.

ProVape, maker of the iconic ProVari series of personal vaporizers, announced its closing this week. The company was one of the first American vaping manufacturers to produce a variable voltage device. 

The first ProVari model was introduced in 2010, and featured a well-machined, heavy stainless steel body and military grade wiring. The chips were designed and made by ProVape. The ProVari was known as a rock solid device that could survive rough treatment.

The original model worked with 18490 or 18650 batteries. Later the ProVari Mini was released, offering an 18350 option. Other versions followed, but by the time the company released a variable wattage model (the P3) in 2014, the writing may have already been on the wall.

In a vape market that moved at the speed of light, ProVape expected vapers to appreciate its careful, thoughtful dedication to quality. But few were willing to spend $200 for devices that offered fewer features than $50 products from China. And as the Chinese manufacturers improved quality control, the distinctions were harder to justify.

The final blow was the FDA’s deeming regulations. No new products could be introduced after August 8, 2016. That left ProVape with a stock of products that were already somewhat outdated — and no possibility of further innovation or even design changes. The last few months saw the company selling its stock of mods at reduced prices.

The company was founded by former employees of the Washington state aerospace industry. It was located in Monroe, WA, about 30 miles from Seattle.

The company will still offer software updates for some devices till next year, and has made arrangements for a third party to perform repairs.

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