E-cigarettes on horizon for makers of Marlboro, Camel

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   June 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM
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Tobacco companies are throwing their butts in the ring for top-selling electronic cigarettes.

The move is an effort to recoup losses in the ever-dragging traditional cigarette market, despite impending e-cigarette regulations by the Food and Drug Administration.

Marlboro maker Altria Group announced its plans on Tuesday for the "MarkTen," an electronic cigarette that will be introduced this August in Indiana.

The MarkTen will offer both rechargeable and disposable models in classic or menthol flavors. Executives said the experience is noticeably close to that of a traditional cigarette.

This comes one week after Reynolds American announced its "VUSE" electronic cigarette, which rolls out in Colorado this July before a national release. Reynolds American is the producer of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes.

As Americans move away from traditional cigarettes, the move is seen as a way to keep the consumers within the tobacco market. The electronic cigarettes are a "rare opportunity" for tobacco companies to introduce new products in an industry heavily regulated by the government.

It is not yet known whether the electronic cigarettes are safe, but former Surgeon General Richard Carmona said they could be a useful tool to wean people off traditional cigarettes, which are considered more harmful.

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