← Back

Should the E-Cigarette and Tobacco industries be seen as one?

Image for Should the E-Cigarette and Tobacco industries be seen as one?
Over the last few years there has been immense competition growing between the electronic cigarette industry and tobacco companies. We have gone through a number of different phases from ridicule to serious investment and in some cases a takeover of electronic cigarette companies by their tobacco company counterparts. In some ways this is muddying the water as some people believe electronic cigarette and tobacco companies are in fact one and the same business sector. Is this correct? Differentiating between tobacco & vapour Unless we start by treating the two as completely separate industries it is very difficult to promote and even discuss the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes over their tobacco counterparts. Even though we still await an array of medical trials to clarify whether there are any long-term health implications, it is imperative that they are considered as different entities. cigarettes-youvemetyourmatch In many ways it is the fact that in reality they are very different entities which has played into the hands of the electronic cigarette industry. It is very difficult to sell both tobacco cigarettes and vaping devices, which many see as a less harmful version of tobacco cigarettes. This is the situation which many tobacco cigarette companies find themselves in and perhaps one reason why they are not too keen to promote their close connections in the wider press. Can the industries ever work hand-in-hand? The simple answer to this question is no. E-cigarettes are attracting the attention of former tobacco cigarette smokers in their millions. It is common knowledge that tobacco cigarette use has been falling for many years now although it is perhaps not as widely known that the introduction of electronic cigarettes has speeded up this decline. There are simply billions of dollars at stake, and big tobacco companies have shown themselves more than prepared to use their financial muscle to gain control of the vapour market. You would hope that the regulators, currently looking at an array of proposed regulations for the electronic cigarette industry, will also look at encouraging an open and honest fight between these two sectors. If, as many people believe, tobacco cigarette companies continue to tighten their grip on the vaping industry this would lead to an inevitable slowdown in the development of new products which has kept the industry fresh. Behind-the-scenes lobbying If the tobacco sector was indeed a friend of the electronic cigarette industry then why are there constant rumours of behind-the-scenes lobbying? We have even seen some tobacco cigarette companies coming out in favour of a total ban on e-liquid sales while protecting the sale of so-called "cigalikes" - in which they have invested serious amounts of money. While this behind-the-scenes lobbying has been denied time and time again there is no doubt that both US and European regulators are under serious pressure. Conclusion When you take into account the very different products on offer from the electronic cigarette industry and the tobacco sector, it is difficult to see how they will ever be able to work hand-in-hand. The vaping industry continues to gnaw away at the customer base of tobacco cigarette companies which prompted many to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in this alternative range of products. This has created an environment of mystery, intrigue and mistrust between all parties and in many ways the damage has been done. The sooner we can differentiate between the two sectors in the minds of the general public, governments, politicians and regulators, the sooner all parties can concentrate on their own particular strengths. Guest post, brought to you by... Ok - E-cigarettes