Over the last year, Big Tobacco has made major inroads into the $3 billion e-cigarette market with major companies like Altria and Reynolds American releasing their own e-cig brands. At the same time, they have taken on an unlikely role as champions for public health.
This week, the CEOs of Reynolds and Lorillard, two of the country’s largest tobacco companies, urged the FDA to move faster to regulate the burgeoning industry, citing concerns that e-cig users were relying on cheap, low-quality products purchased online and imported from China.
That’s right: the leaders of an industry that sells a product that kills some 480,000 Americans every year are now in a panic to warn consumers about the health risks of smoking. It is a remarkable about-face. So what’s in it for them?
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