E-cig Business Continues Its Meteoric Rise


There’s a lot to like about electronic cigarettes: They don’t make you sick, they don’t make you smell bad, they’re less expensive than tobacco cigarettes, users aren’t banished to the hinterlands when they want to vape…the list goes on, and that’s just the consumer side.

On the commerce side, electronic cigarettes are generating a ton of money for all kinds of businesses, including creative agencies, authors, tobacco companies, and of course the e-cig companies themselves. A whole new niche market has grown up around electronic cigarettes, and creative agencies are jumping into the fray with the same gusto they used to have for Big Tobacco ads.

The days of watching the Marlboro Man broodingly rope his cows are long gone, replaced by trendy e-cig brands like BluCigs, whose ads helpfully inform us that Vapor Is The New Smoke. Blu recently hired hipster actor Stephen Dorff to hang out on a Florida Beach and explain how Blu e-cigs enabled him to kick the habit after more than twenty years of smoking like a fiend. Good for you, Stephen. We’re proud of you.

Dorff broods just as well as the Marlboro Man, but without the cows. Blu’s latest ad campaign slogan is “Rise From the Ashes,” which is the e-cig ad equivalent to an ironic t-shirt.

Green Smoke (which, incidentally, is offering a pretty snazzy holiday deal on starter kits), forgoes the trendy actor angle and instead highlights its e-cigs’ features and benefits. Its ads promise a rich flavor and high smoke volume, and really, what more do you need in an electronic cigarette?

Authors are cashing in on e-cigs, too. The last few months have seen a new crop of books on electronic cigarettes, including one titled The Electronic Cigarette, an Alternative to Tobacco by a Swiss medical professor.

Hmmm, so who else is making money in the $2 billion electronic cigarette market? Ah, yes, Big Tobacco.

Lorillard beat out Altria for the $135 million purchase of Blu e-cigs earlier this year. Industry experts predict that Reynolds American, with its Vuse line of electronic cigarettes, will be a formidable player.

The number of e-cig users is expected to quadruple in the next year, and financial analysts are advising investors to consider plunking their money down on Lorillard and Reynolds American stock.

Altria’s not far behind them but Philip Morris seems much less interested in jumping onto the e-cig bandwagon, preferring instead to concentrate on inventing other smokeless tobacco products that no one seems to know much about.

Bottom line: e-cigs contribute to the health of smokers and the health of the U.S. economy. We need more products like this in the world, especially when they’re on sale.

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