How is technology impacting the cigarette market?

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Nowadays we see less and less people smoking. Nevertheless, the tobacco industry is making its efforts to protect its business interests, while also being aware of health issues and addiction.

With the technological development of new tobacco and nicotine products, such as electronic cigarettes and nicotine pouches, the industry claims it can be part of the solution to end “analog cigarette” smoking. Harm reduction is one of the main strategies to reduce the negative effects of smoking. This encourages smokers to migrate to less harmful forms of using nicotine.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes or e-cigs, are a smokeless form of nicotine, which is dissolved in a liquid that is vaporized and absorbed in lungs. Since it retains the similar aspects of a cigarette and has many different flavors and nicotine contents, a smoker can use it as a less harmful alternative to smoking. As they become more used to it, the nicotine concentration can be lowered until it’s non-existent.

The E-cigarette industry has impressive figures that can be studied as a financial and business case. It is expected to generate sales of up to $39 billion by 2030, according to P&S Intelligence. In 2019, it was $15.7 billion.

China supplies more than 80% of the e-cigs in the world, and the current pandemic has slowed sales and caused supply shortages. JUUL, one of the most famous e-cig brands, was partially purchased in 2018 by Altria Group (Phillip Morris parent company) in a $12.8 billion deal for a 35% stake.

Nicotine pouches, on the other hand, are small pre-packed nicotine substitutes that can replace cigarettes that come in different flavors. It can be used discreetly and in environments that have a fire hazard or a smoke ban, such as in airplanes, public transportation and conveniently to current times, while you are wearing a face mask.

In comparison to a regular or electronic cigarette, a nicotine pouch is one of the less harmful alternatives to absorb nicotine, as it avoids second-hand smoking and will not damage the lungs.

A nicotine pouch is actually simple to use, it can be placed between the upper or lower gums, and let the flavored substance slowly dissolve in the saliva.

Its white color does not stain the user’s teeth, and can even be used similarly to chewing tobacco, without the need of spitting, given the contents are retained inside the small pouch. It lasts from 20 minutes to an hour and should be disposed of when finished.

Nicotine pouches come in different flavors and strengths. There are fruity, mint and spice flavors, and it can have different nicotine content per pouch, ranging from 0-3mg (light), 3-7mg (normal), and 7-11mg (strong). You should get the correct flavor and concentration for your body. It is recommended for new users to start with light content and flavors, avoiding a burning sensation in their mouths. Cherry and cinnamon flavors, on the other hand, go together well with strong nicotine levels for the users that require it.