This is the sixth in a series of blogs looking at one of the latest nicotine fads to hit the country. Unlike some of the other short-lived fads, e-cigarettes appear to be here for the long haul. In fact, I could easily see their growth increasing by 1000% or more in the coming years.
Devotees of the e-cigs tout them as a way to break addiction to real cigarettes. They insist the devices address both the nicotine addiction and the behavioral aspects of smoking without the more than 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes. As reported in www.sfgate.com.
The jury is still out as to whether they are a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. I would be surprised if they were worse.
The Food and Drug Administration plans to assert regulatory authority over e-cigarettes in the near future. Public health officials say the safety of e-cigarettes and their effectiveness in helping people quit regular smokes haven't been fully studied.
The market for e-cigarettes has grown from the thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide. Analysts estimate sales could double this year to $1 billion. Some go as far as saying consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of traditional cigarettes in the next decade.
One interesting point is that so far e-cigarettes have resulted in 600 million less cigarettes being sold. However, that is not even 1% of the market
Altria, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of traditional tobacco cigarettes said its cigarette volumes fell about 5 percent to 29.7 billion cigarettes compared with a year ago.
Marlboro has been under pressure from competitors and lower-priced cigarette brands as consumers face economic pressure and high unemployment. The company has introduced several new products with the Marlboro brand, often with lower promotional pricing. Now it too will enter the e-cigarette market.
Have you ever “smoked” an e-cigarette? I welcome your input.