Due to the massive increase in popularity for vaping, Big Tobacco has stepped up its game to keep up. Phillip Morris and Lorillard have already made the switch to ecig production with more to follow as the vape market continues to expand.
Phillip Morris International, the makers of Marlboro, branched out into the ecig market last year with its product, Markten. The company stated that the reason for this movement into the vapor industry was the great growth opportunity that it provided.
The Markten is an electronic vapor cigarette, similar in design to other popular ecigs like Blu and Vuse. Markten and its fellow ecigs are being produced for a mass market and sold in convenience stores around the world. These electronic vapor cigarettes are simple in design, involving small rechargeable batteries connected to cartridges containing liquid nicotine.
Similar to Phillip Morris, Lorillard, the makers of Newport, also began producing a vapor cigarette. Blu ecigs are sold alongside their Phillip Morris counterparts and work in the same way.
What both of these companies do extremely well is design. Their ecigs are aesthetically pleasing and appeal to customers visually, leading to continually increasing popularity.
Because of the success that Blu and Markten experienced, many other companies are jumping on the bandwagon, including Big Tobacco powerhouse, R.J. Reynolds. Reynolds recently began producing Vuse ecigs, similar in design to its Phillip Morris and Lorrilard counterparts.
This disturbing increase in production of ecigs by Big Tobacco will not be beneficial to the vaping community. There is danger to the community hanging in the shadows. R.J. Reynolds, the company responsible for Vuse and one of the largest Big Tobacco conglomerates, has recently announced its support for a ban on vaping. According to an article published by the Winston-Salem Journal, Reynolds submitted a 119-document to the Food and Drug Administration arguing to ban “open system” vaporizers and flavored products.
Reynolds’ crusade against vapes seems absolutely ludicrous due to its recent success in the ecig industry, but make no mistake about its legitimacy. Reynolds wants to capitalize on the ecig market and fears the pressure of the DIY open system vapers and their flavored e-liquid.
According to the R.J. Reynolds statement given to the Journal, “We believe open-system vapor products create unique public health risks. These systems are highly subject to adulteration and tampering.”
This push to ban refillable vapes and hinder the production of e juice would effectively wipe out an industry with astounding promise. And what would be left? Painfully inferior Big Tobacco ecigs that do not provide the consumer with customizability and uniqueness like “open system” vapor cigarettes do.
The vaping community can not allow this to occur. There is nothing but negativity that could be spawned from Big Tobacco taking control of the fate of the vape industry.
According to recent reports, the vape community’s initial response has been just as expected. Sales of ecigs that you can pick up at any travel center or convenience store have plummeted. People are flocking more and more to the customizable mods and uniquely flavored e-liquids sold at any vapor shop across the country.
As vapers, there needs to be solidarity when challenges like these arise. CASAA, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, is one group that is helping maintain said solidarity in the vaping community. The association’s calls to action work directly against the congressional bans that Reynolds wants passed.
Vigilance is the name of the game for the vaping community from this point on. Vapers need to protect their right to vape by any means necessary and prevent Big Tobacco conglomerates from snuffing out the industry.
The vape industry is exploding rapidly and there is no telling how massive it could become. With such rapid growth, there is an increasing risk of danger. People are generally wary when it comes to new things. The society at large is against vaping because they do not understand it. As vapers, we need to band together and show society that vaping is not and should not be a crime. We should follow in the footsteps set out by CASAA.
“Our mission is to ensure the availability of effective, affordable and reduced harm alternatives to smoking by increasing public awareness and education; to encourage the testing and development of products to achieve acceptable safety standards and reasonable regulation; and to promote the benefits of reduced harm alternatives.”
– CASAA Mission Statement
Big Tobacco cannot be allowed to acquire control of the vaping industry. They need to accept the fate of their elderly industry. Smoking is dead, as they say. And vaping shall take its place as the reigning industry.