Tobacco Kings Plough Money Into E Cigarettes - But Why?
While the tobacco giants might be running scared, given the obvious popularity and growth of the e cigarette industry they haven't decided to jump ship just yet. Many have been surprised recently to hear that some tobacco companies have funded the production of e cigarettes themselves which on face value seems to suggest a turnaround in opinions.
What is really happening here is that the big tobacco players in question have decided to get in on the e cigarette / vaping game on their own terms and with their own agenda, basically looking to produce e cigarettes that are least likely to help tobacco smokers to quit (or so it has been presumed).
Studies suggest that disposable e cigarettes or "cigalikes" are less likely to help smokers quit their tobacco habit than tank model e cigarettes. Tank models are those e cigarettes which are manually refilled with e liquid and which commonly have a lot more features than disposable cigarettes which in turn contain a pre-filled cartridge which is then discarded and replaced or indeed the whole e cig is discarded when finished / empty.
In a recent study from the Kings College London of 587 smokers approximately 76% of those taking part used the so-called cigalikes while 24% used the more permanent tank model of e cigarette. Within twelve months 28% of the tank e smokers had quite tobacco smoking altogether as opposed to 11% of the cigalike / disposable smokers.
The researchers found this concerning as many of the cigalike brands that are very popular are now owned by big tobacco brands and are the e cigarettes most prominently displayed. These cigalikes still earn the tobacco company money while reducing the chances of the smoker moving onto e cigarettes alone permanently.
Why cigalikes are less effective than tank e cigarettes when it comes to giving up tobacco smoking entirely, something the vast majority of smokers are looking to achieve when switching over is unknown. Some might speculate that the vape tank version is a more permanent vaping solution and that e smokers are more invested in their use as compared to disposable types yet this is still speculation and not proven.
With the tobacco giants buying up cigalike companies they are being seen very much as hedging their bets in the e cig vs the tobacco cigarette divide. At the same time of course they have been busy working behind the scenes to recover lost revenue from those switching over while encouraging efforts to quit tobacco smoking to fail.
While the study itself was not large enough or run for long enough to definitively state that disposable e cigarettes are less likely to encourage permanent cessation of tobacco smoking what has become clear to those in the industry is that the tobacco companies are not taking any chances. While Pruen, speaking on behalf of the ECITA, the e cigarette trade body doesn't necessarily feel that tobacco companies are producing ineffective e cigarettes, believing that these type of e cigarettes are easier for them to market, many are sceptical.
Time will tell as more studies are concluded regarding the successfulness of cigalikes or disposable e cigarettes versus the more permanent tank e cigs in terms of tobacco smoking cessation. Needless to say the e cigarette industry as a whole are as ever keeping a close eye on what their tobacco toting competitors are working on in terms of undermining the positive aspects many have enjoyed of e smoking over tobacco smoking.