USA: Philip Morris moving into e-cigarette business

USA: Philip Morris moving into e-cigarette business

Philip Morris International, the world’s largest tobacco company, is looking too break into the e-cigarette market in 2014, according to media reports.

Philip Morris International has plans set to enter the $2 billion plus global market, as demand for the less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes continues. The new range is reportedly to be be called ‘Reduced-Risk’ and, according to Philip Morris chief executive Andre Calantzopoulos, "2014 will be a key investment year behind our Reduced-Risk products, our greatest growth opportunity in the years to come".

Philip Morris is not the first tobacco company to invest in the lucrative e-cigarette market, with British American Tobacco, Reynolds American and SKYCIG all showing interest in recent times. Imperial Tobacco Group, the world's No. 4 international tobacco company, has previously announced plans to launch two electronic cigarettes in fiscal 2014. Philip Morris estimates the retail sales value of the eight largest e-cigarettes markets worldwide at around $2.5 billion, with half outside the United States and China.

According to other reports, major cigarette companies have up to now been wary of entering the e-cigarette space for fear of undermining sales of their conventional products.

Source: Reuters