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Philip Morris embraces e-cigarettes

| June 11, 2013

Philip Morris USA will launch an e-cigarette under the MarkTen brand in Indiana in August, reports The Wall Street Journal.

MarkTen is a disposable e-cigarette but can be reused by buying a separate battery recharging kit and additional cartridges. Made in China by a contact manufacturer, the e-cigarette is expected to sell for about $9.50.

PM USA is the last of the major U.S. tobacco companies to introduce an e-cigarette in an industry-wide effort to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business, which has become more challenging in the face of tax increases, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma.

Last week, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American, announced it would start selling its Vuse e-cigarette to retail outlets throughout Colorado in June.

Vuse was developed in-house by R.J. Reynolds R&D experts, and will be manufactured in the United States.

In April 2010, Lorillard acquired e-cigarette maker Blue Ecigs. It has expanded into more than 80,000 retail outlets.

Analysts estimate sales of e-cigarettes could double this year to $1 billion. Some have even said consumption of e-cigarettes could surpass consumption of traditional cigarette within the next decade. The Food and Drug Administration plans to assert regulatory authority over e-cigarettes in the near future.

Electronic cigarette maker Njoy said Monday it had raised $75 million in financing from investors including Napster founder and ex-Facebook president Sean Parker.

 

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