If you canâ€™t beat them, join them: RJ Reynolds launches their first e-cigarette
The second biggest tobacco firm in the United States, Reynolds American, has launched their first e-cigarette. The famous company that sells famous tobacco cigarette brands like Camel, Pall Mall, Capri and Natural American Spirit as well as Grizzly smokeless tobacco, launched its first e-cigarette line in Colorado in the summer of 2013. With smoking rates declining over the past few years especially with the introduction of e-cigarettes in the past five years, this step was deemed a huge (and some say even desperate) attempt recover their losses and to diversify the company's product lines before their company goes up in smoke.
More than 1.3 million tobacco cigarette smokers have tried or switched to e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. They are marketed as smoking cessation devices or as healthier alternatives to smoking tobacco.
The consumer market for e-cigarettes has grown from the thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide with the largest jump in statistics in 2012 and 2013 with users hitting the 1 billion mark. Market predictions forecast that sales of e-cigarettes could surpass traditional cigarettes in the next decade. Tobacco company executives have admitted that e-cigarettes were hugely the reason why tobacco cigarette sales went down about 1% (600 million cigarettes) during the first quarter of 2013. This doesnâ€™t even cover revenue of online (Internet) sales where the e-cigarette industry gets its biggest revenue.
Reynolds American isnâ€™t the Only One Who Have Joined the E-cig Bandwagon
In April 2013, Altria Group Inc., owner of the nationâ€™s biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, announced its plan to introduce an electronic cigarette during the second half of the year. Lorillard Inc., the nationâ€™s third-biggest tobacco company, acquired e-cigarette maker Blu Cigs in April 2012.
Reynolds American E-cigarette Division Will Be Expanding
And it doesnâ€™t end there.
Reynolds American Inc. recently announced that it will soon be expanding the availability of its vapor cigarette (Vuse) to Utah.
Its e-cigarette brand, Vuse, is largely popular and has strong backing in research and quality because of the big funds set aside by Reynolds American. Reynolds American top executives say Vuse is a game changer in the e-cigarette industry. Stephanie Cordisco, president of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., said in an interview with The Associated Press that â€œe-cigarettes maintain the â€œfamiliar ritual of the cigaretteâ€ but many of the more than 250 brands available have taste and performance issues. And unlike Marlboro or Camel cigarettes that let smokers see the pack getting consumed, vapers often canâ€™t tell when they are getting close to running out of e-liquid or battery powerâ€. Vuse addresses this concern and makes it all the more appealing to smokers and those trying to quit smoking.
The Vuse Technology
The Vuse e-cigarette features technology that monitors and adjusts heat and powers more than 2,000 times per second to deliver consistent puffs. It also has a smart light on the tip to let users know when itâ€™s getting low, needs to be replaced or recharged.
A battery-cartridge set lasting about as long as one pack of traditional cigarettes is expected to cost about $10 and will include a USB charger. Reynolds will also release a kit that includes one electronic cigarette, three cartridges and a USB charger for about $30. Additional cartridges in both original and menthol flavors also will be sold as a two-pack for about $6.
There will also be a new product line called VUSE Solo, a pre-charged and ready to use kit that would retail for $10.
Reynolds American intends to launch an aggressive advertising campaign that will include television, print, online and direct mail ads. Since e-cigarettes are currently not regulated, they are not under regulations for smoking products although most municipalities prefer to have their own regulations about it.