In our post of the history of the e-cigarette, we already mentioned that, according to rumors, the tobacco lobby is behind the lack of success of the first vaporizers. But what about today? Let’s get to the bottom of it all.
Do vapers endanger the tobacco industry?
The goal behind the invention of e-cigarettes was to create a smoke-free alternative to traditional cigarettes. Many smokers are quitting cigarettes and switching to e-cigarettes. In short: Yes, the vape manufacturer naturally focus on smokers in their target group in addition to existing vapers and advertise their products as a healthy alternative to cigarettes.
Of course, the tobacco lobby doesn’t like it at all. Because while the number of active smokers in Germany has decreased by around 2.5 million from 2010 to today (source: WHO), the number of vapers has increased by around 3.4 million in the same period (source: Verband des e-cigarette trade). In addition to rising taxes and TPD vape, e-cigarettes pose a severe threat to the tobacco industry.
How is the tobacco industry dealing with the e-cigarette industry?
So the question is, how will the tobacco industry respond to this threat? Of course, the various companies are not simply sitting out the situation because it has long been clear that e-cigarettes are not just a passing trend. The tobacco industry’s first response: lobbying.
Tobacco lobbyists against E-cigarette
Numerous representatives of the tobacco lobby have spoken out in various countries for bans on e-cigarettes, warnings on e-cigarettes, a ban on vaping in public areas, or an extension of the tobacco tax on e-cigarettes and liquids. The successes of these representatives differ from country to country.
Tobacco companies as Vape manufacturers
In addition to active lobbying, the tobacco industry has another answer to the e-cigarette: buying up the vape manufacturers or developing their vape kits. The best example is the US tobacco company Philip Morris (Altria Group), known for Marlboro’s cigarette brand. Under the IQOS brand, PM is developing its alternative to cigarettes. At the end of 2018, Philip Morris acquired a 35% stake in the JUUL brand (purchase price approx. 12.8 billion US dollars).
Reemtsma – part of the Imperial Tobacco company and best known for the John Player Special brand – has also invested in an vape manufacturer. Reemtsma has held a stake in MyBlu since April 2018.
Tobacco industry & e-cigarettes – Insight as a guarantee of survival
Increasing taxes and government regulations, like TPD, make cigarette smoking more and more expensive worldwide. Awareness of the harmfulness of smoking is also increasing. To avoid losses as much as possible, the tobacco manufacturers play a double game and try on the one hand to keep cigarettes as attractive as possible and, on the other hand, to secure further market shares with e-cigarettes.
As tobacco manufacturers’ involvement in e-cigarettes continues to increase, one can assume that lobbying against vaping will gradually decrease. However, only the future can show precisely how things will continue. We’re excited, are you too?