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BAT Becomes First Tobacco Company To Enter E-Cigarette Market
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

British American Tobacco (BAT) has this week launched an e-cigarette in the UK, making it the first tobacco company to enter the rapidly growing market locally. BAT’s e-cigarette is branded Vype and will be available for sale online, with plans to move into mainstream retail outlets from September 2013.

Until now, the nascent e-cigarette market has been dominated by small private producers, such E-lites. But with increasing social and government pressure to curb traditional smoking, tobacco groups have turned their attention to the product. E-cigarettes account for just 1% of total tobacco products but their use is growing quickly, particularly as they can cost 70% less than normal cigarettes. 

BAT flagged its intention to move into the market last year when it spent about £40m on Manchester-based e-cigarette company CN Creative, makers of Intellicig. The tobacco giant said that Vype uses a nicotine e-liquid that is made in the UK to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards and contains only pharmaceutical grade nicotine. The e-cigarette is currently available in a disposable format, with plans to supplement the product range with a rechargeable version in the near future. 

The company said that development of inhaled nicotine products, which includes e-cigarettes, is a natural extension of BAT’s approach to tobacco harm reduction which has been evolving over a number of years. “Ultimately, we’d like to become the leading player in the marketplace,” said Kingsley Wheaton, a board director at BAT. 

From 2016, e-cigarettes will be regulated in the UK as a medicinal product, providing a headache for smaller companies unused to operating in heavily regulated industries.

(Source: KamCity / NamNews)



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