As we have stated countless times, the media is not too fond of electronic cigarettes for whatever the reason. It seems as if every news piece has something critical to say regarding these incredible electronic devices. It has become so bad that we have become accustomed to it already here at E Cigarette Reviews UK. Over the past few days, we have come to the agreement to now try and focus on the (many) positives that e cigarettes offer. However, we came across some disturbing news about e cigarettes from an unlikely source: Big Tobacco.
This week, along with the Daily Mail, we discovered something strange: Big Tobacco’s warning on their own electronic cigarette packaging. Before we get into it, let us be clear: e cigarettes mostly contain nicotine (unless you choose 0% nicotine e liquids/cartomisers). Nicotine is an addictive substance and therefore we are in favor of such warnings. But, this is not what is intriguing (to say the least).
MarkTen has now put a 116 word warning on their e cigarette packaging. MarkTen is a brand under NuMark’s leadership. NuMark’s parent company is Altria – the maker of the world’s most recognized traditional cigarette brand – Marlboro. Altria recently bought Green Smoke electronic cigarettes in an attempt to get into the digital e commerce world. However, they also bought them due to their technological prowess and unrivaled vaping experience. Consequently, Green Smoke now moves parallel to MarkTen. Not only does MarkTen have this lengthy wording, but so does Green Smoke.
Okay, fine. We would have been willing to accept this new initiative…until Altria came out and said, “we had to do what we thought was right” in regard to the warning being placed on their e cigarette packaging. Wait, what?!
Yes, Altria – the company that refuses to change the warning on their own account now suddenly cares for its customers’ health? Unlikely. Moreover, Altria has been sued plenty for their horrid warning on their traditional tobacco products and yet they still try to keep a government mandated warning to a minimum. And, most importantly, there is absolutely no required health warning on electronic cigarette packaging in the United States. This begs the obvious question of: why put this extended warning on your own packaging, especially when it could hurt sales? The truth is that there are only two possible reasons for this.
While profit margins on electronic cigarettes are nice, they are nothing compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes. Perhaps Big Tobacco is trying to get their customers to stay away from e cigarettes or re-switch back to tobacco cigarettes. After all, the warning on their e cig packaging goes into great detail about the dangers of nicotine. It says that nicotine can “increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” and that the ingredients can be “poisonous.” Clearly, a warning like this could sway a smoker’s decision and keep him/her on tobacco products only.
Even before Big Tobacco got into the e cigarette niche, they have been lobbying for strict controls and regulations on these products. Now that they have entered the market, they have been pushing harder than ever for these controls to go into effect. Aside from elongated health warnings, some of these controls consist of restricted sales, mandatory scientific testing and limited product offerings. Needless to say, this would severely suppress competition and limit innovation.
In their defense, they have stated that these regulations will ultimately benefit the customers and the e cigarette companies themselves. With these regulations, e cigarette users and companies alike will be ensured of better safety and quality standards. Altria did say that just because they are smaller and lesser known, does not mean they should be exempt from these regulations. When asked about their stance and smaller businesses, the Altria spokesperson replied, “Our stated goal is to get to e-vapour leadership, to have the strongest brands in the marketplace. I don’t know how they run their businesses and what it would cost them to meet those requirements.”
Draw your own conclusions.