Big Tobacco And The E-Cig

It’s not too often a product like zyn snus comes along with so much potential. A brand with so much pent up demand. The market potential is hundreds of billions. Every retailer who carries it has trouble keeping it in stock. Top it off with the innovation and convenience it offers, a market takeover is bound to happen eventually and it seems as if the news many have been dreading is on the horizon. The real score: e-cigs are giving Big Tobacco companies a run for their money.

In a nutshell, the electronic cig is basically the newest and most successful alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes on the market these days. While its futuristic design can be quite beguiling, an e-cig is a relatively simple piece of technology that creates vapor by heating a liquid solution until it creates a mist. This mist acts much like tobacco smoke, allowing long time users a viable substitute that can be inhaled and exhaled as if you were smoking regular cigarettes.

A standard e-cig is normally composed of three primary components that carry out specific functions, namely the cartridge or mouthpiece, atomizer, and the battery. Using the device is as simple as screwing the pieces together. When the user takes a drag off the mouthpiece, the flow sensor activates the atomizer and creates a harmless vapor that simulates the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor and nicotine content of inhaled tobacco smoke. In addition, most models currently available are also rigged with LED on the end to mimic a glowing “cherry” just like when you’re smoking a regular cigarette.

When e-cigs like BluCigs were introduced to the market over a couple of years ago, they were pretty much ignored by the more established tobacco companies, particularly Philip Morris, Reynolds American, and Lorillard, thinking they were just some half-baked fads that will soon vanish into obscurity. They sat on their laurels and allowed small niche startups to build up a market for the devices.

When e-cigs started to become popular, however, the Big Tobacco groups, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the nicotine replacement therapy manufacturers, went to great lengths to make sure everyone knew how the various brands and varieties have never been tested and could be potentially dangerous.

Nonetheless, after all the legal skirmish has cleared, the FDA announced just recently that the agency will regulate e-cigs the same way it regulates other tobacco products and will not classify the vapor-producing devices under the stricter federal rules that apply to medical products. This concession effectively legalizes the various brands of e-cigs available in the market as well.

What’s next for Big Tobacco? Nobody really knows. One thing’s for sure though. As long as they can’t match the innovation and convenience offered by e-cigs, their businesses will go up in smoke sooner or later.

Kris is our in-house writer with a lot of experience under her belt. She loves to provide her insight about the market trends and her predictions about market trends are often on point.