Big Tobacco has been making moves to wedge itself into the electronic cigarette market. However, the industry is simultaneously trumping up the dangers of smoking electronic cigarettes in order to make tobacco smoking appear less harmful, AlterNet reported.
Currently, electronic cigarettes are not federally regulated, much less regulated in the same manner as tobacco cigarettes. This lack of regulation has allowed those in the e-cigarette industry to market on the radio, television, and on billboards, whereas tobacco companies are banned from doing so.
Tobacco companies are buying their way into the $3 billion electronic cigarette market and labeling the products more harshly than they are tobacco cigarettes. A typical warning label on a pack of tobacco cigarettes usually reads something like “Smoking causes lung cancer.” On the other hand, warning labels on electronic cigarettes are wordy and explicit.
Altria produces Marlboro cigarettes and MarkTen electronic cigarettes. While a pack of Marlboros have brief warning labels, MarkTens are labeled “Nicotine is addictive and habit-forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.” Furthermore, electronic cigarette labels say smoking is dangerous for children, for those taking certain medications, and have diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lately, Big Tobacco has been pressing the FDA to regulate the electronic cigarette industry to two, selfish ends. They want to drive the smaller electronic cigarette companies out of business, and they want to protect their profits from tobacco cigarettes by placing more explicit warning labels on electronic cigarettes.
Big Tobacco is trying to create some good PR for tobacco cigarettes by making the alternative look like the more dangerous option. Even after a 1994 lawsuit that cost the industry over $200 billion, the vicious leaders of the tobacco industry continue to find new ways of distributing their harmful, deadly products.