Tobacco Companies Getting in on E-Cigarette Sales

Tobacco-display-ban-007In the United States, small vendors have had the electronic cigarette market all to themselves since 2003, however, this scenario is about to change. The sales for electronic cigarettes are expected to reach the $1 billion mark in 2013. Now, the big tobacco companies are beginning to announce their own brands of electronic cigarettes coming onto the market. The Altria Group which is the largest cigarette manufacturer in America will begin selling their MarkTen e-cigs somewhere in Indiana. Reynolds is the next largest cigarette manufacturer, which is planning to start selling their Vuse e-cigarette in Colorado in July. Lorillard has its Blue Cigs in more than 80,000 stores after purchasing it last year for $135 million. Most electronic cigarettes makers welcome the competition as long as the tobacco giants play fair in the market.

While tobacco companies are turning to this market, officials are still determining if electronic cigarettes are actually safer for the smoker than traditional cigarettes. Those that use e-cigs inhale vapor that is created when a battery inside the tube heats a nicotine solution allows them to smoke without any actual smoke or burning. The UK government announced on June 12, that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as medications to ensure their safety and quality. France has plans to ban electronic cigarettes from public events and in the United States, several cities have already banned their usage in public areas.

The United States Food and Drug Administration are responsible for regulating tobacco products and at this time have not designated any rules for electronic cigarettes.

Americans are smoking less every year and the cigarette industry believes that e-cigarettes along with other smokeless products will save their financial situation. At this time, only 1% of all cigarette sales in America are electronic cigarettes, it is projected that sales will double to $1 billion in 2012 and within the next five years reach $3 billion. On the other hand, Bonnie Herzog analyst with Wells Fargo believes that sales will reach more than $10 billion by the year 2017.

Several analysts are predicting that once the FDA steps in the picture and begins regulating electronic cigarettes, there may be requirements on these companies to disclose all their ingredients, manufacturing data, and make research and compliance costs sky rocket so only the big players will be able to keep manufacturing electronic cigarettes.

Even though many individuals that have switched to electronic cigarettes over traditional cigarettes, marketing must be done walking on egg shells so to speak. No electronic cigarette manufacturer can state that the product is safer than traditional cigarettes or that it is a stop smoking aid. The only safe way to market electronic cigarettes is that they are an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

A few regulations are already being put into place regarding electronic cigarettes. Minors in Indiana starting on July 1st will not be able to purchase them the same as other states. United States airlines and Starbucks coffee shops have banned the use of electronic cigarettes as well as the cities of Seattle, Washington, and Boston, Massachusetts.

No one is sure what the impact of the electronic cigarette is going to be on the market, but everyone can speculate. At this time, sales are increasing, debates are going on behind closed doors regarding regulations, and research on possible health issues is being conducted across the world. At this time, the only thing that can be said is that research has proven that electronic cigarettes are a good alternative to traditional cigarettes without the harmful chemicals and tar that are found in regular cigarettes.

One Comment/Review

  • electronic cigarette ban says:

    Those who complain should support the sale of e-cigs. I’ve not smoked an actual fag for six weeks now due to electric cigarettes. I believe e cigarettes must get much better press. I must also say that nicotine is not proven as carcinogenic. They do a lot less damage than real cigarettes.

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