It was recently announced that tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, makers of Camel and Pall Mall Cigarettes will be branching into the e-cigarette market. The company’s Chief Executive Daniel Delen said “our companies have been hard at work on developing a pipeline of new smokeless and other product innovation,”….
It would seem that Reynolds are not the only tobacco firm looking to crack into the e-cig market as earlier in the year Lorillard Tobacco Company acquired the American electronic cigarette company Blu.
At the time of acquisition many Blu customers viewed the move as controversial. Several turned to the company’s social networking pages to brand the company a “sell out” and voice their displeasure over the change in ownership. Many were incensed that their hard earned cash spent on a product that had help them pull themselves away from the tobacco “baddies” would now be pocketed by a giant of the very industry they had managed to quit.
Others took another view. Many of Blu’s loyal customers rushed to the defence of the company pointing out that regardless of who owned the company the product had still helped them and been a positive influence on their lives. Supporters of the change spoke of the tobacco industry now having a responsibility to offer healthier alternatives and promote the reduction in tobacco related illnesses and deaths.
This announcement from R.J. Reynolds comes at a time when the e-cig industry finds itself at a time of monumental growth. R.J. Reynolds claimed that their move into the e-cig market was “in line with our long-term strategy to transform the tobacco industry and reduce the harm caused by smoking”.
So are the tobacco “baddies” really trying to turn over a new leaf? Are these positives steps away from the harm caused by tobacco? Or are they just cashing in on the booming electronic cigarette industry? Do these companies have a place in the world of electronic cigarettes? What do you think?