Tobacco Companies Move into E-Cigarette Business

Tobacco manufacturers are moving into the manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes, according to CNBC. The business, which brought in $400 million to $500 million in sales in 2012, is expected to at least double this year, one expert predicts.

“We’re actually predicting that consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of traditional cigarettes in the next decade,” said Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo. Last year, tobacco giant Lorillard paid $135 million for the e-cigarette company Blu, while RJ Reynolds created its own e-cigarette brand.

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated. E-cigarettes often are made to look like regular cigarettes.

John Cameron, CEO of the e-cigarette company Safecig, says people who want to quit smoking often are not satisfied by using nicotine gum or patches, because they miss the act of smoking.

E-cigarettes do have potential downsides, Herzog notes. She says some critics are concerned there could be potential health risks.

The products can also be expensive. One e-cigarette made by the company Njoy cost almost $9 at a California convenience store. The product claims to be the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes.

Correction: January 14, 2013: The original version of this summary erroneously stated that Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo added, “The products are expensive.” The error, which we regret, has been corrected in the above synopsis.

16 Responses

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    January 19, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I just hope the tobacco companies AKA snakes in the grass, don’t start poluting the cartomizers with deadly chemicals just to make theirs taste more like cigarette smoke at the expense of our health. I don’t trust big tobacco to do anything that isn’t underhanded. I think I would just stick to those e-cig companies that are NOT owned by tobacco companies.After all, they lied to the public about the safety of their product for decades untill they were backed into a corner and had no choice but to admit that YES, they were putting chemicals in the tobacco that is dangerous, all for the almighty dollar.Love my Greensmoke e-cig, hope they don’t sell out, I would hate to have to find a new one.

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    elektronisk cigaret

    January 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I really hope that the big tobacco companies, get in on the electronic cigarette market, and make them better not that i think they are bad now, but with the healp from them im sure they will get even better..

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    Fr. Jack Kearney

    January 11, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I think it is important to note that tobacco companies are now moving into the ecig business; they did not start it. The force behind ecigs has been smokers who want to quit smoking. If Big Tobacco wants to help move this process along then it is a good thing: less smokers, more vapers.

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    Annie R

    January 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I disagree, e-cigs are just as addictive as a regular cig! BIG TOBACCO wants to keep their hand in keeping smokers addicted! I smoked for 38 years, quit 11 years to date. WAKE UP !!!!! TOBACCO KILLS, its a fact.

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    Leslie Basden

    January 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    E-cigarettes don’t have to be that expensive. Do some digging on the Internet, and you’ll find that they can cost as little as 10% of what one pays for tobacco cigarettes.

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