A firey debate.. And perhaps opportunity – to innovate or die?

An article today in the NYTimes caught my eye, enough to grab the section off the counter of my parents house before heading back into the city. My father hates when I take the Sunday Business section. Still, I proceeded to snag his nightly reading, just so I wouldn’t forget to read it. My bad – as if I don’t have the internet..

The January 31, 2010 head line reads, Where There’s No Smoke, Altria Hopes There’s Fire and continues with, “The company once called Philip Morris is hoping the F.D.A. will go easier on Marlboro Snus, a spit-free smokeless pouch, than on Marlboro cigarettes.” As I stood behind the mail box, with my newspaper resting atop, smoking a Marlboro Light – I digested the truth, reality and consideration of the future – my awful habit and an industry I’ve so dearly loved.

Things that make you say hmm??

The article laid out essentially three reasons Altria would be an advocate for F.D.A. regulation of the tobacco industry. In fact the DUFF WILSON and JULIE CRESWELL go on to provide a deep and pretty objective account of the current debate between the F.D.A, Health Experts and Tobacco Companies. But what about the consumer?

According to the Times, “about 70 percent of the nation’s 46 million smokers say they want to quit, government surveys show, and about 40 percent try every year. But only 2.5 percent succeed. The government estimates that 400,000 Americans die of smoking-related diseases each year.” As one of the first two stats above, I am hopeful that I can become part of the third as well, and not that of the forth. This is a goal of mine this year.

But then I wondered.. Is it the tobacco that’s bad or is it the nicotine as well? For the answer to this I (or someone else) will have to research to validate what I’m about to throw out as a potential new opportunity (from a consumer’s perspective that is..)

Friday night, while out at the bar with friends, celebrating two birthdays I stumbled upon an old friend & fellow DJ colleague. Yes, we met up outside smoking a cigarette. This is perhaps one of the most appealing aspects to smoking – the dynamic social atmosphere and opportunity to connect with others either known or not. Smoking is an automatic outlet, opportunity to either engage or disengage – the ultimate ice breaker. People who don’t smoke do not understand this. As a result of smoking I met people which resulted in more experiences than if I had not smoked. Whether or not these experiences are worth the physical risk, well – probably not (in hind sight). Regardless, the satisfaction in those moments only help to further rationalize each time and every situation. This similar process is what allows me to continually rationalize the ill-effects, hence why I am still part of the 40% smoker population and not of the 2.5% successful group – yet.

So back to my point.. While out, and running into this old friend, he shared with me a new device, one that I’ve seen before but never actually saw, touched or tried..

This device is interesting, and really a delight. Here’s the down-low.. this cig looking thing basically utilizes a, “modern microelectronic technology, a small rechargeable battery and a unique, replaceable cartridge containing water, propylene glycol, nicotine, and a scent that emulates a tobacco flavor upon each and every puff.”

Yes, you inhale nicotine vapors and blow out vapors. Just like when your smoking any traditional cigarette. Nicotine I asked my friend – “Yes, actually 12.5mg per refill” – what ever that means..

I said. He replied, “Try it, I smoke it all over, you exhale water vapor, no smell – no harm.”

According the the Crown7 website and the FAQs they provide about F.D.A. regulation – Electronic cigarettes from Crown7 contain only water, propylene glycol, nicotine, and a scent that emulates a tobacco flavor. None of these ingredients found in our electronic cigarettes are considered cancer-causing agents. The Food and Drug Administration has deemed propylene glycol safe, and it is widely known that nicotine itself is not believed to have toxicological effects. Because of these facts, you are able to use our electronic smoking device anywhere you wish. Indoors, outdoors, at a restaurant, anywhere! Enjoy all of the traditional benefits of smoking without the health hazards and restrictions that comes with tobacco cigarettes.

So now the question is really, if nicotine isn’t that bad, and what makes tobacco a killer is really the method of delivery – are electronic cigarettes the future and replacement of the tobacco? Is there an evolution and innovative business opportunity on the horizon?

Cigarettes account for $14.4 billion and smokeless a mere $1.2 billion in 2009 revenue for Altria which according to the Times controls 50% and 55% of the smoke and smokeless markets respectively. While everyone focuses on the combustible and non-combustible tobacco – there seems to be a growing unregulated market for the next generation of nicotine products.. Cause let’s face it – the world is always looking to get their fix. Just look at all the caffeine-related products market.

Once again – things that make you say hmm?

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Comments
8 Responses to “A firey debate.. And perhaps opportunity – to innovate or die?”
  1. Does this still allow my airway to get air while I sleep?

  2. Just wanted to let you know that itís not showing up properly on the BlackBerry Browser. Anyway, Iím now on the RSS feed on my laptop, so thanks!

  3. Great Blog! I have been following it for quite some time..how I can subscribe to your blog?

  4. Great Blog! I have been following it for quite some time..how I can subscribe to your blog?

  5. I then explained this has been very frustrating because this was a Christmas gift and Iíve had nothing but headaches from the day I ordered their product, and that I wasnít willing to send out the defective part until a new one was received. The Ďmanagerí explained it wasnít up to him, it was a company policy, if I or my father had an account it could be done, he would if it were up to him, etc. I explained if they want my father to get and account with them they had to send a new part so he can use up the supply of cartridges he already had.

  6. Will anyone be able to smell a smoke smell on me?

  7. Jeremy Maez says:

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  8. I think your blog is good. I found it on Bing. I will definately be back.

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