There seems to be some hidden agenda behind big tobacco’s new move to sell e-cigarettes. Interestingly, big tobacco companies own and sell about 50% of the e-cig market, which means they have control over half of the available products. We have also heard significant complaints regarding current offerings and how they are less than satisfactory. Is this a coincidence?
The e-cigs that you find at gas stations and convenience stores are most often owned by big tobacco companies as they control the market. Usually, smokers will experiment with these devices then quickly grow weary of their inferiority and go back to smoking traditional cigarettes. However, this is not necessarily the case with online shops.
New Offerings from New Companies
Unlike big tobacco which is saturating the market with stick style e-cigs, new online businesses are bringing a whole new look and feel to e-cigarettes. In fact, most of these companies offer high-quality products that are thoroughly vetted before they hit the market. They are also offering e-liquids and personal vaporizers. This is in direct contrast to what big tobacco companies are doing. Most of them still continue to carry the first-generation vaporizer products which fall short of being impressive.
Companies like Altria and Green Smoke are two such Tobacco companies that are falling behind the curve in innovation. Of course, it stands to reason that for those companies to push vaporizers and e-cigs they would lose money in the long-run as these products are directly hurting their tobacco sales.
Big-T Taking Notice of e-Cig’s
E-cig companies and the industry as a whole, present a serious problem to big tobacco. These companies continue to advance their products with each passing year, continually perfecting their products. Currently, they are holding the keys to second and third generation vaporizers while tobacco companies are still offering the first. Due to a lack of regulation, big tobacco also has to face the fact that these companies will continue to see profits rise since they aren’t forced to pay government fees, licenses, and fines as big tobacco so often does.
Largest Tobacco Companies Domestic and International
Cigarettes sales have risen by 8% from 2000 to 2014 with more than a billion worldwide cigarette smokers. Just in 2014 alone, cigarette brought in $744 billion in total revenue which equals out to 5.6 trillion cigarettes sold, JUST in 2014. The combined profits of the six biggest tobacco companies were $35 billion which amount to the combined profits of McDonald’s, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. The 5 biggest international tobacco companies are:
- China National Tobacco Co. – 46% of the market share.
- Philip Morris International Inc. (Altra Group Inc.) – 15% of the market share.
- Imperial Tobacco Group – 45% of the market share.
- British American Tobacco – 11% of the market share.
- Japan Tobacco International – 9% of the market share.
The Hidden Agenda
Obviously, big tobacco has an agenda to push with their recent emergence into the e-cig market. Reports indicate that these b-T companies are pressuring the FDA to clamp down on e-liquids which are critical to 2nd generation vaporizers (not first generations which don’t use them). They are also frequently lobbying and throwing their weight behind laws and regulations which would force e-cig companies to go through the stringent FDA filings every time they produced and released a new product onto the market. This new regulation would also require e-cig companies to file for approval of the very first e-cigs ever created, which has at this point been on the market for over 8 years.
Despite Big Tobacco supporting stricter regulations and tighter control over the e-cig market, consumers and consumer advocate group are claiming that this is just the beginning of the end for Big Tobacco. In fact, e-cigarette use is being called a revolution of sorts by those who are making the switch from tobacco based products to e-liquid and nicotine vaporizers.
As we move forward, it is important to stand behind the causes we believe in, and if you are tired of big-tobacco shoving its products down your throat why not make the switch to e-cigs? You’ll be glad you did.