Huge News! Another Big Tobacco Company Is Turning Their Focus To Vaping

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In a recent interview on Bloomberg Markets: European Open, CEO of Imperial Brands Alison Cooper said vaping was becoming their “focus”

Cigarettes and other tobacco products have directly lead to one of the most significant public health crisis’ of the last century, yet the companies responsible are still major players in the financial world. In fact, Big Tobacco companies made things much worse by actively suppressing the evidence that smoking kills until they could no longer keep things hidden. So even with all the strides we’ve made over the last several decades, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe.

The invention of modern vaporizers in the early 2000s was a direct response to the smoking epidemic. By the early 2010s, vaping had become a full-blown phenomenon with millions of former smokers attributing e-cigarettes as the key to finally getting them over the hump. The smoking industry continues to grow less viable at the same time the vaping industry is establishing itself, giving several Big Tobacco companies the idea to jump ship. Imperial Brands became the latest to formally announce these plans when CEO Alison Cooper recently appeared on the European Open edition of Bloomberg Markets.

The CEO’s Appearance

Alison Cooper is the CEO of Imperial Brands, formerly known as Imperial Tobacco. As part of the international launch of their new Pulze heat-not-burn device, she appeared on Bloomberg Market to answer a few questions. It was made clear right off the bat that just because they are primarily a tobacco company, doesn’t mean they’re spending a majority of their resources on making heat-not-burn devices such as their Pulze or the iQOS by Philip Morris International. Instead, she says their “main focus” will instead be traditional e-liquid vaping products, such as their MyBlu device.

She also announced that their first launch of the Pulze HnB device would be in Japan. Interestingly, she also mentioned that they’re already selling non-nicotine versions of their MyBlu vaping devices there, which have been going “fantastically.” This indicates further that Imperial Brands’ main focus moving forward is no longer tobacco, but instead vaping products. She also claimed that their research indicates MyBlu is about 99% safer than smoking, specifically in regards to cancer risk. While she stopped short of making the same blatant claims as PMI about a future without cigarettes, her comments make it extremely clear that this is precisely what they’re planning for.

PMI Tells It Like It Is

While Imperial Brands is attempting to save a little face by not showing their entire hand right off the bat, Philip Morris International has had no such reservations thus far. Their first major move occurred late last year when they pledged $80 million a year over the next 12 years to help set up and run a non-profit, anti-smoking foundation. The primary goal of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is ridding the world of smoking via research on vaping and heat not burn devices, but PMI wasn’t finished there.

If the millions of dollars spent supporting vaping technology didn’t prove it enough, official PMI spokespeople have on several occasions said outright that their company is planning for the day without cigarettes at all. In fact, they even have an entire page dedicated to this fact on their website. In what they called their “New Years Manifesto” they laid out why they will one day replace all of their products with smoke-free alternatives.

Implications

It may seem like a positive thing for the vaping community that so many Big Tobacco companies appear to be admitting defeat after all these years. But ultimately this could be bad for the industry at large. Right now a majority of the best vaping companies are smaller, independently owned companies who still have a passion and drive. The type that easily gets lost in huge conglomerates. If we willingly allow Big Tobacco companies, and their massive pockets, into the vaping sector, it won’t take long for them to carve out huge chunks of market share, squeezing out smaller brands.

So there’s just one question you have to ask yourself. Should we serve the vaping industry up to Big Tobacco on a silver platter? Especially when you consider that vaping was invented to end smoking. Big Tobacco companies have made billions of dollars a year for what seems like forever, all while actively suppressing the ugly truth about their products. If we don’t want to give them a chance to do it again, we must fight to keep Big Tobacco out of the vaping industry.

Do you think it’s a big deal if more tobacco companies get involved with vaping? Do you think this would help or hurt the overall public perception of vaping? How can we best support independent vaping companies? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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