How Electronic Cigarettes are Changing the Culture
The rise of electronic cigarettes or premium vapor products over the past decade has truly been remarkable. First created in 2003 and entering the US market in 2008, the electronic cigarette has earned as astonishing $1.5 billion in profits from last year alone and is continuing to grow at a very rapid rate. The tobacco industry has certainly taken notice and has responded at first by trying to compete with e-cigs and when that didn’t work they are now trying to have the FDA apply the same rules and regulations to restrict their use as those that apply to them.
One aspect that is worrying Big Tobacco is that numerous studies have shown that people who use electronic cigarettes and premium vapor products are far more likely to quit smoking than people who have tried the tobacco alternative to e-cigs which is known as Cigalikes. This is because e-cigs offer far more flavor options, are less expensive and do not have the many rules and restrictions that apply to tobacco.
However, while Cigalikes did create a $1 billion market last year which is pretty impressive for a recently introduced product, it was far surpassed by the e-cigs and premium vapor products that use the wide variety of flavors. So in response, the Reynolds company began to lobby states such as Michigan, Oklahoma and South Carolina to tax e-cigs in the same manner as their own tobacco products. Plus, Reynolds is currently lobbying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban all e-liquid products because they are dangerous.
Certainly the take that Reynolds and other Big Tobacco companies are making is a risky one since it has long been established by numerous studies that tobacco itself is a danger to the health because it creates cancer, disease and illness in so many people. Yet this seeming contradiction has not stalled the efforts of Big Tobacco to curtail people from using e-cigs and premium vapor products that are currently all the rage.
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