From Bad To Worse: Big Tobacco is On Its Way to Cornering the E-Cigarette Industry

One would think that Big Tobacco had learned its lesson after having its head handed to it almost twenty years ago. The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) ultimately cost the “Big Four” at least $206 billion – and that price tag could go higher.

Apparently, Big Tobacco has not learned its lesson. Since the rise in the popularity of e-cigarettes, the large tobacco companies have been attempting to corner the market for the devices – and having a fair amount of success at it. Today, R.J. Reynolds has a “Vapor” division. Philip Morris has joined forces with Altria in a major e-cigarette venture, and the British-American Tobacco company (BAT, the largest in Europe) has launched its own line of e-cigarette and vapor products.

Dr. Jeffery Drope of the American Cancer Society says that in the e-cigarette market, “Big Tobacco is now dominating in dollars in sales.” Granted, the $5 billion annual market for e-cigarettes is minuscule in comparison to that for standard combustible tobacco cigarettes – currently at $92 billion a year and rising by approximately 3.4% annually . However, growth in e-cigarette sales is expected to be at least 24% a year through the end of 2018.
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