I take it a lot of people posting on this thread haven't been following this thread: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/media-general-news/290817-lorillard-purchases-blu-e-cigs.html
Most of the fears of what Lorillard/Big tobacco will or won't do have been covered there. But I will summarize:
1) It is illogical to think that the tobacco industry, which is seeing declines in cigarette sales and has been expanding into the tobacco harm reduction/smoke-free products, would buy into e-cigarettes and then attempt to halt any and all innovation and options that would basically stall and then kill the e-cigarette market. These are companies that have been around for a couple hundred years, have adapted to changing social attitudes and already attempt to offer dozens of options for tobacco consumers. It would make no sense for them to limit themselves to mass-market, pre-filled, tobacco-only flavored devices.
2) The selling points of e-cigarettes are A) lower cost than smoking B) 99% safer than smoking. It would make no sense for BT to support regulations and taxes that would make e-cigarettes as expensive as cigarettes and to add toxic chemicals that make them dangerous, which would lose consumer confidence in the product. Especially since there are a lot of other options for tobacco users to move to if they have no confidence in the e-cigarettes - some are even being developed by Big Pharma. SO it is completely illogical to think that BT will go happily along with taxes on e-cigs or add toxins (really, how would they do that with a product that contains only 3-5 ingredients??) that will make their products LESS desirable to their customers? The very reason people give that BT will ruin e-cigs (greed) is the same exact reason why BT would want to make e-cigarettes better, more appealing to smokers, offer more variety, retain customers from switching to another brand of e-cig or gums/patches. Contrary to popular opinion, BT doesn't want it's customers diseased or dying (that's the ANTZ/ BP wet dream). E-cigarettes are a win-win for BT - people who switch to e-cigs mostly don't really WANT to quit nicotine or the habit, they just don't want to die. Most e-cig users, unlike smokers, have no intention of quitting, so BT wouldn't have any reason to try to make them "more addictive" or lure in kids.
3) Most important point. EVERYTHING you THINK you know about big, bad, evil tobacco companies came from the same ANTZ who are now telling us and the public that e-cigarettes are targeting youth, contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens and aren't any safer than smoking. We all know those are lies and trust me - they aren't just "misunderstanding." So, how can we now believe anything we've been told by them about tobacco and tobacco companies? We know now how much they twist the truth and even lie outright. They will say any lie to get people to quit all tobacco or recreational nicotine - they've PROVEN that with the lies about e-cigarettes, low-risk smoke-free tobaccos and the "effectiveness" of their crappy gums and patches. How do we know that what we've been told about tobacco companies adding ammonia to make them more addictive, targeting kids, etc. aren't all twisting of the facts to achieve their prohibitionist agenda? What proof do we have - other than claims from the ANTZ - who we know lie?? Tobacco companies have been making much safer, low risk products for YEARS now and the ANTZ have been telling us that they aren't any safer and relying on the fear, loathing and distrust they created of BT to keep us in line (and smoking instead of switching.)
Who benefits most from everyone distrusting BT? The ANTZ and Big Pharma. who benefits if we get sick from smoking? Big Pharma.
How ironic that the only industry that supports the right for adults to use recreational nicotine, has been developing much safer alternatives and has bought into e-cigarettes as tobacco harm reduction products is Tobacco and the groups who have been telling us BT is the evil one are the ones who actually benefit more if we keep smoking, keep trying to quit and keep getting smoking-related diseases.
4) BT will target kids with e-cigs? First, see above points. Second - why would they even need to when they have 450 million existing adult smokers?? The kid targeting is a myth created by ANTZ. Ask yourself - did you start smoking because of ads by BT? No - none does, but the ANTZ want us to believe it to perpetuate the "evil tobacco" image so they can continue to treat smokers like crap, while collecting their taxes and money for their Big Pharma products. If Big Tobacco ever targeted youth with their Joe Camel-style ads it was to get youth who were already smoking to switch. Research shows that kids start smoking because their friends or family are smokers, not because of ads. So Big Tobacco doesn't even need to target kids to get them to START - parents and friends are doing it for them.
Really folks - don't fall for the idea that BT is somehow special in it's ability to be corrupted by greed. They didn't do anything that the ANTZ and Big Pharma are doing right now - by relying on this myth they perpetuated that Big Tobacco and all its products are evil, so you should trust BP and the ANTZ. It's just another tactic to get you to buy THEIR products instead.
Very good points, Kristin. I hope you are right. I hope that vaping is established enough to not allow companies with deep pockets to stymie competition. I still have my doubts that Lorrilard will make real improvements to Blu or allow anything other than prefilled carts. But I hope you are right and not me.