The market for electronic cigarettes is heating up. After three decades of declining demand in the U.S., tobacco companies are looking to e-cigarettes for growth.
The battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating a vapor that users inhale without the more than 4,000 chemicals found in regular cigarettes.
Financial analysts estimate revenue could double this year to $1 billion. Some go as far as predicting that the consumption of e-cigarettes could surpass that of traditional cigarettes in the next decade.
Altria Group, owner of Philip Morris USA, and Reynolds American are launching electronic cigarettes in small markets this summer. Reynolds hopes for a national rollout of its Vuse brand e-cigarette. Lorillard acquired an e-cigarette maker in April 2012 and has expanded the availability of Blu ecigs to more than 80,000 retail outlets.
Even so, it’s likely to take a while for e-cigarettes to begin adding to profits. That’s because of smoking’s fading appeal and the loss of traditional cigarette sales as customers switch over. Associated Press
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