Designs in e cigarettes have come a long way since the days of the R. J. Reynolds Premier back in 1988. Back then, people needed to be trained on how to light and use their e cigs, which contained tobacco rather than just nicotine infused liquid. Instead of being a breakthrough in the tobacco world, the Premier was mostly a failure. People didn’t like the way it tasted and they weren’t impressed with the concept in general.
Big Tobacco has another option that will be coming out soon. Phillip Morris has announced their upcoming Marlboro Heat Sticks which will be distributed in Japan and Italy later this year. If all goes well, they will be distributed in more countries in 2015.
The price of the Heat Sticks for consumers isn’t clear yet, but Phillip Morris has plans to boost their profits by $700 million with the introduction and development of Heat Sticks. They have to sell 30 billion units to meet that goal, so there is probably going to be a big marketing push this year.
Heat Sticks are similar to the Premier and Eclipse in that they use actual tobacco instead of an e liquid. There won’t be any ashes though because the tobacco is heated, not burned. That’s hard to imagine since the device has to heat to 660 degrees Fahrenheit to work properly. Hopefully it will not require any kind of training or special functionality to work.
The premise behind the whole project is that these new devices are supposed to be safer than regular tobacco cigarettes. Heating the tobacco rather than burning it eliminates smoke, so the carcinogens created during the combustion process and second hand smoke aren’t an issue. As you aren’t burning the tobacco there aren’t going to be any ashes either so we can expect less mess and pollution.
Another potential option that smokers can expect to see is a similar device that uses aerosol instead of heat. While the details aren’t all available just yet, it’s clear that tobacco companies are looking to get more innovative in order to recover some of the funds they are losing due to the decrease in tobacco cigarette sales. Since vapor products have become so popular there is every reason for companies like Phillip Morris and R. J. Reynolds to think that they can find a place in the world of e cigarettes, even if they are reluctant to let go of using tobacco.
Between the rising cost of tobacco cigarettes as well as healthcare, it’s great to know that smokers are going to have even more options to choose from. Hopefully these really will be safer than tobacco cigarettes, and perhaps introduce a new method of vaping to the community. Don’t assume that to be true until more facts and product tests are available though.
The Eclipse (once known as Premier) was promoted as a less toxic alternative once, but then studies revealed that in some cases, the Eclipse create over 700% more toxins than a normal tobacco cigarette. Innovation is a wonderful thing and we hope that Phillip Morris has figured out how to reduce those toxin levels and make a great tasting, easy to use e cigarette that uses real tobacco, but we’ll be watching the studies and test before we make a judgment call.