With dwindling cigarette sales and the growing popularity of smoking alternatives, Big Tobacco is shifting its resources and mimicking the practices of the vape industry to boost sales of its next-generation products.
Taking a page out of the vape shop book, British American Tobacco PLC (BAT) has opened a storefront in Milan for the purpose of selling its own vapor product called Vype, and to educate consumers about the proper way of using it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In an effort to drum up interest and to offer more variety to adult consumers during a time when cigarette sales in the UK are slipping, BAT released yet another vape device called the Pebble on Thursday.
The Pebble is shaped like what its name suggests and is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand. It promises all-day battery life with liquids offered for its use that are available in four different nicotine strengths and six flavors, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Pebble is sure to join Vype and will be sold in BAT’s brick and mortar location, with the British tobacco giant becoming keen to retail openings citing the practices of rival Phillip Morris International Inc., which on Wednesday launched a store in London that sells its heat-not-burn product called the iQOS.
BAT has spent a total of $1 billion on its next-gen products over the past five years and is investing more heavily in smoking alternatives as cigarette sales continue to plummet.
This costly investment falls in line with competitor Phillip Morris and its belief that the sale of smoking alternatives will eventually eclipse traditional cigarette sales as fewer people are lighting up and many of those former smokers are gravitating towards smoke-free products.
To read more, click here for The Wall Street Journal article.