Call me crazy, but most of my life I’ve associated tobacco companies with pure evil, but maybe I just saw too many of those awful truth campaign ads as a kid.
Still, that didn’t stop me from smoking, although I wish it would have. Our good friend Dr. Siegel posted a blog explaining five reasons why the tobacco industry could offer some serious aid to electronic cigarettes.
1.) More Resources- These resources will lead to greater exposure for electronic cigarettes. Electronic Cigarette companies don’t really have the resources at this point to orchestrate a national informational campaign. A remarkable number of people still don’t understand e-cigs, nor do they know the differences between them. Tobacco companies have the resources and know how to get people talking, it’s already happening with the recent announcements of Vuse and MarkTen.
2.) More Studies- Considering the incredible amount of studies sponsored by the industry for regular cigarettes, we can only expect the same for the electronic version. Imagine how awesome it would be for e-cigs to make health claims, perhaps to be considered a cessation device by more than just the community that swears by them. The small fish in the market will not be able to swim if FDA enacts section 911, which would require that sort of research to market products.
3.) More Strength- The tobacco industry has always had a powerful lobby in Congress. That same strength will now stand behind electronic cigarettes. FDA will have to take the products seriously, and give them more of a fair shake than if it was just a collection of small vendors.
4.) More Accountability– Though many e-liquids are not a chemical soup as cigarettes, that doesn’t stop people from claiming that we don’t know what’s in them. In some cases they are certainly correct, but wouldn’t it be better if we had a standardized process for evaluating the content of e-liquid? Not to mention making it less likely that the products explode.
5.) More Availability- No doubt the allure of being able to buy electronic cigarettes at more brick and mortar locations is appealing. This would likely stop some of the price gouging that happening at gas stations and mall kiosks.
I just want to make it clear that I don’t think that the tobacco industry should have a stranglehold on electronic cigarettes, I just recognize they could help further our cause. Obviously, there are many reputable vendors that have pure juices and products that are safe. We need those vendors if we want to have an industry that is robust and full of variety. I fear for their fate if unnecessary restrictions come into play, so now is the time to self regulate as much as possible.
Will that be enough? Who can say. Yet, I know we have more of a chance to carve some ground to stand on with the tobacco industry, likely more than we could have on our own. Still, I can’t deny that I’m a little worried what will happen to all the little guys. Will the tobacco industry every get into modding? Too many questions.
What impact do you think the tobacco industry will have on the electronic cigarette market? Let us know in the comments below.