Big Tobacco’s Attempt to Take Control of the Vape Industry
In decades past, Big Tobacco made big money. A high percentage of the population used tobacco daily, and cigarette sales were consistently high. But now – between regulations, health concerns, and the advent of vaping – Big Tobacco isn’t quite as big as it used to be.
In 1974, a survey of UK residents showed that 46% of people 16 and above were current smokers. That’s nearly half the adult population! Cigarette smoking has dramatically fallen to approximately 16% of the adult population over the past decade or so.
Many people looking to quit smoking were turning to vaping instead. As vaping gained popularity, Big Tobacco saw an opportunity. If they could take control of the vaping industry, they’d be in a much better position to retain customers, attract new ones, keep the policymakers on their side, and keep their bottom line going strong.
The convenience of disposable e-cigarettes makes it a serious alternative to Big Tobacco
Big Tobacco and the Vape Market
Major tobacco companies have tried to launch “healthier” products more than once. Most of these attempts were not successful. But once vaping started to gain traction, they knew they had to try again to land a corner of the vaping market. Since the public perceives vaping as a less harmful option over smoking, the tobacco industry sees it as the perfect way to get consumers interested in tobacco again in a fresh, new way.
Many of the existing big companies started their own vape devices, while others opted to invest in vape companies. Altria Group, one of the biggest tobacco companies globally (and the parent company of Marlboro), stopped production of its e-cigs and bought a 35% share in JUUL Labs, one of the top-selling vape companies. There has been some controversy over this USD 13 billion investment, with the United States Federal Trade Commission arguing that the deal between Altria and JUUL was illegal. However, Altria maintains that it stopped selling its e-cigarettes not because of JUUL but because it wasn’t performing well.
This is just one of the many Big Tobacco companies that have sought to profit from the growing vape industry.
The combination of refillable cartridges and e-liquid bottles also mean vape users can save far more money than on cigarettes or heated tobacco products.
The Future of Big Tobacco
Even though far fewer people smoke now than in the past, the tobacco industry is still a multi-billion-dollar industry. Many of the leading vape brands are owned by tobacco manufacturers. So, it looks like Big Tobacco probably isn’t going away anytime soon. They’ll continue to change their marketing strategies and product lineups to appeal to today’s consumers.
However, if you don’t want to support Big Tobacco, you have plenty of options. There are many independent vape brands with great products to choose from. Shop at AIRSCREAM UK today for vape devices, pre-filled pods, single-use vape pens and our signature 313 e-liquid!
Besides being a healthier alternative to smoking, e-cigarettes also offer a variety of flavours that cigarettes can never hope to match.