Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) announced to launch its electric cigarettes under the brand MarkTen, Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO)
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) is a leading cigarette manufacturer and owns three companies with leading positions in United States namely Phillip Morris which manufactures the most iconic cigarette brand ‘Marlboro’, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co which produces and markets the two leading smokeless tobacco brands being ‘Copenhagen’ and ‘Skoal’ and the best selling large machine made cigars Black & mild by John Middleton.
The company has announced to launch its electric cigarettes under the brand MarkTen in August. The company has pushed to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business as the companies are facing difficulties in regards to hike in taxes, smoking bans, health related concerns and social stigma. Martin Barrington, the Chairman and the CEO of the company said that the company has given an ample time to study the market category and business opportunities. He also said that the category is in its initial stage and will show results as it evolves.
The disposable e-cigarette, MarkTen can be reused by purchasing a separate battery recharging kit and flavors. The company has remarked that the “Four Draw” technology, used in e-cigarette is designed to give users a better experience which will be equivalent to the traditional cigarette. The FDA is planning to assert certain regulatory authorities over the e-cigs in the forthcoming months. Public Health Officials have said that they have not yet studied the effectiveness of the e-cigs helping the smokers to quit their traditional smoking.
Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) the nation’s third-biggest tobacco company made its entry into the tobacco industry by launching e-cigs after acquiring Blu Ecigs in April 2012 and has expanded its products to more than 80,000 retail outlets. The company holds nearly 10% share of the US market as compared to the 50% share of Altria in US. Lorillard has further plans to launch new products apart from its existing NewPort, a leading methanol brand. The company has a wide open room in the US market to grow.