Tobacco Companies And The E-cig Market
Tobacco Companies And The E-cig Market
E-cigs have definitely become more popular in the last few years. In the UK alone, there are currently more than 2.1 million electronic cigarette users, and that number continues to grow. According to investment bank Goldman Sachs, E-cigarette sales can be expected to hit close to $10 billion in just a few short years!
Combine this with more recent and widespread smoking bans in the UK, and E-cigs suddenly seem to become a no brainer. They are healthier, they are legal, they are less expensive… and perhaps most importantly of all, they resemble smoking so much that many E-cig users who used to smoke tobacco-filled products don’t seem to mind the change-over.
But how does all of this look for tobacco companies? How are they fairing amidst booming E-cig sales and an industry continually challenged by legislation and public health cessation messages? These are good questions, and they may initially draw a picture of a struggling industry striving to overcome such unsurmountable obstacles… but upon looking more closely, it would appear that big-players in the cigarette business are not fairing nearly as badly as one might think.
The truth about E-cigs and tobacco companies
Anyone who is a fan of vaping (or a hipster, for that matter) might find themselves smiling inwardly at how the once ‘tiny’ E-cig market is now vying for such a big piece of the monetary pie that tobacco companies used to hold a pseudo monopoly over… but as it turns out, there is more to the story than their first appears.
According to articles like this one, published in the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/05/rise-of-e-cigarettes-miracle-or-health-risk), we find that some of the world’s leading tobacco companies are actually hard at work turning themselves into major world players in the E-cig market. Look at Marlboro and their E-cig company Mark Ten. Look at ‘Blu’, which was recently acquired by Lorillard Inc., one of the largest U.S. tobacco companies in the business. Reynolds American has even rolled out ‘VUSE’… their version of the E-cig.
All around us we see evidence of one very verified fact… that big tobacco companies are cashing in on the E-cig. But is this a good or a bad thing? In a sense, that depends on who you ask. Die-hard indie vapers and hipsters might think that ‘big business’ will ruin the vaping scene, though there is also an alternative viewpoint to consider.
Should tobacco companies get involved in the E-cig business?
In the end, this is the question… is it a good thing that big tobacco companies are growing their stakes in the E-cig market? In short, the answer to this question may be a yes, and here is why.
As we all know, tobacco products are bad for you. They kill half of their users, and expose many more than that to harmful chemicals. E-cigs, on the other hand, have so far been shown to be a pretty safe and economical alternative that could end up saving millions of lives.
With this in mind, maybe it is a good thing that big tobacco companies are getting interested in the product. What if one day, tobacco products were completely replaced by their electronic counterparts? What if the need for real cigarettes was driven so low by electronic products that major tobacco companies chose to simply cease the production of their tobacco products altogether and decided instead to continue forward with E-cigs only?
As it turns out, this may be the direction that we are headed in… but it will take time, and it will take effort. With that in mind, it is important to remember that big tobacco companies have a lot of money to put into electronic cigarettes. Ads for E-cigs are already showing on television screens across the world, which is a pretty interesting concept when you consider the fact that cigarette commercials have been banned for quite some time now.
In the end, tobacco companies will probably find a way to stay on top of the market one way or the other. The best case scenario, of course, would be for them to champion electronic cigarettes instead of tobacco-filled types. This could be lucrative for them while also being healthier for everyone else.