The tobacco company Altria Group Inc. is launching its first electronic cigarette under the MarkTen brand in Indiana, beginning in August and extending its smokeless product offerings.
This is the last of the largest tobacco companies in the country at the market of electronic cigarettes in the industry-wide push to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business, which is becoming more rigid in terms of raising taxes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma.
Richmond, Va.-based company declined to comment on whether it plans to move beyond the initial state of the market test or whether he plans to advertise on TV – the place of the tobacco companies have long been prohibited marketing of traditional cigarettes.
During a presentation to investors on Tuesday, CEO Marty Barrington said the company “spent a lot of time studying the categories and business opportunities.”
“The category is at an early stage, and time will tell how it will develop,” said Barrington.
Electronic Cigarette battery powered devices that heat the liquid nicotine solution, creating steam that mainstream users. Devotees say e-cigarettes address both addiction and the behavioral aspects of smoking. Smokers to get their nicotine without the more than 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes. And they get to hold something shaped like a cigarette, while puffing and exhaling something that looks like smoke.
More than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and about half of smokers try to quit each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Markten is a disposable e-cigarette, but can be re-used, buying individual battery charging and extra set of cartridges as tobacco and menthol flavors. The company said that the electronic cigarette “Four Draw” technology is designed to give users a “more consistent work,” which is very similar to drawing traditional cigarettes.
Electronic cigarette made in China by a contract manufacturer, is expected to sell for about $ 9.50. Prices for additional ammo and recharge kit were not available. Liquid cartridge made in the USA
Last week, Reynolds American Inc., the owner of the second-largest tobacco company in the country, has announced that he is launching an updated version of its Vuse brand of electronic cigarettes in Colorado in July, with an eye to expanding nationally. Lorillard Inc., the third-largest tobacco company of the country, has acquired the electronic cigarette maker Blu Ecigs in April 2012 and has expanded to more than 80,000 retail outlets.
The market of electronic cigarettes, which includes more than 250 brands, has grown to thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide. Analysts estimate that sales could double this year to $ 1 billion. Some even said to consumption of electronic cigarettes can outperform traditional cigarette consumption in the next decade.
Tobacco company executives said that even electronic cigarettes have gone the total volume of the cigarette industry down about 600 million cigarettes, or about 1 percent, in the first quarter, with the exception of online sales – the main way for electronic cigarette purchases.
The Food and Drug Administration is planning to assert regulatory authority for electronic cigarettes in the near future. State health officials say the safety of electronic cigarettes and their effectiveness in helping people quit smoking regular, have not been fully explored.
Njoy Electronic Cigarette manufacturer Inc. said Monday it has raised $ 75 million in funding from investors including Napster founder and entrepreneur Sean Parker and Homewood fixed capital Douglas Teitelbaum be used for marketing, clinical trials, research and development, and international expansion. Musician Bruno Mars also has invested company whose Njoy King disposable electronic cigarettes are available in more than 60,000 retail stores.
Like other tobacco companies, Altria also is focusing on cigarette alternatives for future sales growth because of declining cigarette smoking is expected to continue.
The company said Tuesday it is expanding its chewy Verve, Disposable nicotine disks from 60 stores to 1,200 for Virginia in the second half of this year. He also plans to debut gum containing tobacco in Denmark this summer called Tew (pronounced “chew”) through a previously announced joint venture with a subsidiary Fertin Pharma A / S to develop smokeless nicotine products.
Altria, whose brands include the best-selling cigarettes Marlboro, Skoal smokeless tobacco and Black & Mild cigars, also on Tuesday reaffirmed its full 2013 adjusted earnings forecast of between $ 2.35 and $ 2.41 per share. The company also owns a wine business, holds a voting stake in brewer SABMiller, and has the financial department of the company.