Are E-Cigarettes a Threat for Big Tobacco?By
Stop smoking campaigns have urged new and long-time smokers to quit their smoking habit, putting a dent in the pockets of tobacco cigarette manufacturers in the process. With all the negative side effects of cigarettes encouraging smokers to shy away from lighting up, e-cigarettes seem poised to take over the spotlight. In fact, NJOY’s King Cigarette was recently featured in Super Bowl advertisements in places such as Phoenix and surrounding areas.
The e-cig brand’s commercial claimed cigarettes had met their match, and in some ways this is true. Recently electronic cigarettes have been featured in advertisement campaigns around the world, with Blu Cigs featuring an endorsement from actor Stephen Dorff and the recent E-Lites video of a Gangnam Style baby.
The ever increasing media attention electronic cigarettes are receiving has not gone unnoticed. Despite the FDA’s lack of regulation of e-cigarettes, there has been a push by multiple factions to enforce stricter regulations on the product. Convenience stores and companies selling smokeless cigarettes have been prohibited from advertising the product as a smoking cessation aid or explaining health benefits. Still, the growing popularity of e-cigs among smokers is making tobacco companies worried.
Many former smokers have made the switch to vaping for personal, health, and financial reasons. Smoking and vaping both release nicotine but the harsh smokey smells, stained teeth, and shortness of breath common with smoking appear to be non-existent from electronic cigarette users. Switching to e-cigs has also proven to be an economical choice for many former smokers since a pack of e-cigs lasts more than twice as a long a pack of conventional cigarettes.
Although e-cigs have been around for more than a decade there are still lingering concerns about the safety of the products and long-term health risks; still, people like Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble support the use of e-cigs as an alternative to the risky practice of smoking conventional cigarettes.
“My attitude is, whatever works,” Humble said. “It is the tobacco that is killing people.”
While there continues to be growing concern and skepticism about whether electronic cigarettes will take over the tobacco industry’s market, it is clear that electronic cigarettes are becoming a more inviting option for smokers trying to break their smoking habit.
Chris Weiss, CEO of e-cigarette company NJOY, seems excited about the prospect of e-cigarettes competing with big tobacco companies.
“Our Number 1 goal, our mission, is to make (tobacco) cigarettes obsolete,” Weiss said.
Whether or not electronic cigarettes are the future for smokers is still up in the air. In any case, smokers are finally finding an alternative to smoking that enables them to enjoy nicotine without the nasty side effects associated with tobacco. For smokers, this reality is relief in itself. Big tobacco companies, on the other hand, do have reason to be worried as electronic cigarette companies continue to be a growing presence in the smoking industry.