One of the largest tobacco companies in the world, Philip Morris International (PMI), in next year will starts producing electronic cigarettes. This was stated by CEO Andre Kalantzopoulos during a conference in New York.
PMI adjusted forecasts for the level of income in 2014 and declared that they would be higher than in 2013 at 6.8%. When announced strong growth data are not up to the expectations of market analysts. For example, the analyst Thomson Reuters assumed that the company would be able to increase its revenues in 2014 by 9%.
Based on the above, the management of the tobacco giant decided to enter in the fastest growing segment of the industry – production of electronic cigarettes. While the total volume of the market is slightly more than $ 2 billion, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the $ 800 billion tobacco market. However, according to PMI, is a “major growth opportunity,” of the company’s revenue.
Since the second half of next year the manufacturer intends to begin issuing a new series of products under the brand Reduced-Risk, said Andre Kalantzopoulos. Until the end of the next year, the production will have to undergo a series of tests, and since 2015 it is planned to bring the project to the national level.
Smaller foreign competitors, British American Tobacco PLC, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, have already launched or are preparing for the launch of the electronic cigarettes, battery used for the conversion of nicotine liquid into a vapor. Global sales of electronic cigarettes reach $ 2 billion, accounting for a small part of the tobacco market volume of $ 800 billion, but growing rapidly. Electronic Cigarettes are regarded as less harmful as compared with tobacco cigarettes, because combustion process in E-cigarettes is not present.
Electronic cigarettes have a significant advantage over conventional: they are not subjected to such severe anti-tobacco sanctions by the authorities of various countries, and in some cases their sale is promoted as a possible mean to combat smoking.
Currently, there are debates between supporters and opponents of electronic cigarettes. Thus, proponents of a new type of cigarettes believe that they can help smokers to gradually get rid of nicotine addiction and quit smoking. Opponents insist that electronic cigarettes cause the same harm to health as usual tobacco products. But to prove the legality of a particular point of view, is not enough a sufficient amount of long-term studies.