Tobacco giant Philip Morris announced that it will be joining the electronic cigarette market. This comes as part of a plan to expand its portfolio and reduce the risk and impact of anti-smoking policy and regulation.
Read more of the story here.
Similar to Lorillard’s purchase of Blu Cigs close to the beginning of the year, this will likely be met with mixed emotions from the electronic cigarette community. E-cigs struggle to distinguish themselves from traditional cigarettes. The past sins of Big Tobacco are often weighed against the electronic cigarette industry. This makes many very uneasy about Big Tobacco stepping into the industry. The concern is that e-cigs will come to be the same as smoking, additives and all.
But this also brings the heft of a $156 billion company to the aid of an industry struggling against the FDA — and if Big Tobacco is good at anything, it’s prevailing despite the efforts of the FDA.
Perhaps more interesting is that as recent as June, Chief Operating Officer André Calantzopoulos made statements about the poor experience associated with electronic cigarettes and their inability to deliver nicotine. In general, he said they failed to do what they are meant to do. Perhaps he changed his mind. Perhaps others changed his mind for him.
See our interview with Lorillard’s CEO on Blu Cigs Acquisition