Big Tobacco Owns The Vaping Industry

The Kentucky Smoke Free Association
Big Tobacco Owns The Vaping Industry

We see the vaping industry as small business because that’s what it’s made of; start ups manufacturing mods, eliquid, accessories, distribution channels, vape shops. None of which are tied to big tobacco directly.

Big Tobacco does have a foot in the game though.

  • Lorillard: The 3rd largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, Lorillard acquired BluCigs in April 2012. Lorillard, including the BluCigs line, was acquired by Reynolds American in July 2014.
  • Reynolds American : The 2nd largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States and the produce of Camel and Pall Mall. Released the Vuse cigalike and promptly sold the BluCigs line to Imperial Tobacco shortly after acquiring Lorillard.
  • Imperial Tobacco : A UK based tobacco company. Purchased the BluCigs line from Reynolds after acquiring the Dragonite in 2013 originally owned by Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor of the original e-cigarette.
  • British American Tobacco : A global tobacco group with brands sold in more than 200 markets worldwide. Also has a 40% stake in Reynolds American. Launched the Vype e-cigarette in the UK in August, 2013 manufactured under its subsidiary Nicoventures.
  • Japan Tobacco International : World’s 3rd largest international tobacco company headquartered in Switzerland. Owns minority shared in the Ploom, a loose-leaf vaporizer that heads tobacco pods. Acquired the e-cigarette brand E-lites in June 2014.
  • Altria/Philip Morris USA : Largest selling cigarette brand in the world (Marlboro). Nationwide rollout of the MarkTen cigalike in 2014.
  • Philip Morris International : The largest international tobacco company. Partnered with Altria to gain the exclusive right to sell Altria’s e-cigarettes outside the United States. In June 2014 acquired Nicocigs, owner of the Nicolites brand, to enter the UK e-cigarette market.

Big Tobacco may sell cigalikes, but they are not the vaping industry. They are not the vape shops, the eliquid manufacturers, the mod, atomizer or rebuildable manufacturers. Vaping is not Big Tobacco, it’s Small Business.

Vapers want nothing to do with Big Tobacco. Specialty vape shops generally don’t sell cigalikes as a rule. We’ve struggled with quitting cigarettes for years, we’re not in bed with Big Tobacco and we’re certainly done with giving them money.