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E-Cigarettes: the beginning of the end for smoking?

Over the pond in the US, it seems the three largest tobacco companies have announced a nosedive in smoking rates, leaving stockholders questioning the real threat that e-cigarettes hold over their profits and the future of the tobacco industry.

Anti-smoking activists have worked tirelessly and helped lower the US smoking rate from 32% in the 1980s to 18.1% in 2012. Across the globe smokers face bans in public places, display restrictions and graphic marketing, and the latest tool in the arsenal for activists is the electronic cigarette.

Could this be the beginning of the end for traditional tobacco smoking?

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The electronic cigarette isn’t short of fans – from the glitterati of Hollywood using e-cigs to people you meet every day that have made the choice to change to e-cigarettes, but a research from Penn State has made waves in the industry with his latest findings and statements.

Jonathan Foulds says:

“e-cigarettes are at least 90% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Most of the chemicals that smokers inhale are the result of burning tobacco. E-cigarettes neither contain tobacco nor produce smoke. Instead, users inhale vaporized nicotine; the vapor contains significantly fewer harmful chemicals than cigarette smoke. Any cigarette replaced by [an e-cigarette] is probably a step in the right direction.”

On top of discussions of health, financial benefits come up time and time again with those we speak to who have made the switch. Cheaper refills and rechargeable batteries whilst perhaps have a borderline ‘higher’ up front cost, in the long term it has the potential to save the once ‘traditional’ smokers thousands of pounds over coming years -and its not just the users that are reaping the rewards.

Behind the scenes, smaller start ups and new business ventures are finding themselves success over their corporate multi-billion competition, injected a much needed ‘balance’ in the market and leveling the playing field for all. Whilst traditional tobacco companies start to make the ‘switch’ to alternative products, new faces in retail are making their mark and dominating the market that was once firmly held in the hands of tobacco giants.

All signs (and experts) now point to the electronic cigarette usage/market surpassing the consumption of conventional cigarettes in as little as the next decade.

Tobacco products are hitting the back benches of society, and e-cigarettes are firmly in the spotlight. They’re being allowed back in buildings (albeit sometimes in their own designated area rather than a free reign) and backed by health charities as a ‘go to’ as a quitting aid. The worldwide acclaim (despite the tobacco industry’s best efforts to bring it down) of the electronic cigarette is one that would be hard to reverse. With shareholders and society in agreement of their attributes – could they soon be the sole survivor of the cigarette market?


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