We are barreling in to 2015 now as electronic cigarette brands look forward to another big year and a chance to stake their claim on the e-vapor business.
Big Tobacco at this point has come to accept e-cigarettes as a fact of life, but more than that, they have entered the game themselves. After a long fight to keep the e-cig revolution at bay, players like Altria, RJ Reynolds and Lorillard are all putting out so-called e-vapor products.
As we march on to see what this year has in store, let’s take a look at things through the eyes of Big Tobacco and see what they see. How does Altria, RJ Reynolds and Lorillard see 2015 with regards to e-cigarettes?
Welcoming the E-Vapor Name
The first thing we need to know is that, besides trying to establish their own electronic cigarette brands as the ones providing the best ecig, is that Big Tobacco wants a name change.
That’s right, the term electronic cigarette either hits too close to home or has been deemed not marketable. So the new name of the same game is “e-vapor”.
That’s right, e-vapor or electronic vapor is all over everything Altria, RJ Reynolds, and Lorillard produce through their various electronic cigarette brands. It may sound funny to us and in the end it doesn’t really mean much, but for tobacco companies 2015 is the year they take another big step in their e-vapor businesses.
The iQOS: Heat Not Burn Technology
Get ready for heat not burn technology. The idea isn’t new, but the application of newer technology and the race to compete with the burgeoning e-cigarette market is. Tobacco companies will be exploring every angle.
For Philip Morris International it has been a decade’s worth of work and a billion dollar investment, but they think the iQOS system will prove itself as the best electronic cigarette competition.
The essentials of it are a device that can take real tobacco and heat it up to create a vapor, without reaching the level of burning the tobacco itself. As we all know, the burning of tobacco is generally regarded as the real problem with traditional cigarettes, so this does away with that.
RJ Reynolds is throwing their hat into the heat not burn technology field in 2015 with the Revo, so this could be the year that this section of the industry really heats up (pun intended).
One Step Closer to FDA E-Cig Regulation
Of course Big Tobacco has their eyes firmly set on the FDA and the impending regulation that it plans to enact.
Based on the 12-18 month timeline for their proposed FDA e-cig regulation to take effect, it would seem that by the end of 2015 we’ll all know what these regulations will do to the industry. Except, we won’t.
The FDA has an out on this because of the thousands of e-cig regulation comments that they had added during the “commenting period” of the proposed regulation.
If they make changes based on those comments, they can open up another commenting period on those changes (that’s right, a commenting period on comments!).
Still, this year should get us closer to knowing what the FDA has in mind as far as regulations and how they plan to implement them. All electronic cigarette brands will be watching this, especially those owned by Big Tobacco.
The year ahead for Altria, RJ Reynolds, Lorillard and other tobacco manufacturers is surely one based on their primary product – traditional tobacco cigarettes. But the race for the best electronic cigarette is on and these heavyweights are in on it too.
They know that they have to get in on the e-cig movement in a big way because that is what consumers are asking for. 2015 for them has a lot of similarities to what it has in store for us too. The biggest difference is the angle from which they take their perspective, with silly things like the e-vapor phrase. Everyone will be looking to see how the e-cig industry progresses this year, which could turn out to be a pivotal one for the growth of the electronic cigarette.