cigarette brand Marlboro has decided to launch its own electronic cigarette product. Altria Group Inc hopes to take advantage of a recent consumer trend -- "smokeless" cigarettes -- in order to try to offset the sales slump of regular cigarettes.
More smoking bans, health worries, and increasing taxes on tobacco products have moved millions of Americans to try e-cigarettes, which provide the nicotine boost of regular tobacco products without the burning smoke. Basically they vaporize liquid nicotine from disposable cartridges and, at least in theory, greatly reduce the health risks (although some doctors disagree) and inconvenience of regular old smoking. Some of the products are promoted as ways to quit smoking gradually, or at least limit the damage it does.
The new e-cigs will be sold under the "MarkTen" brand and priced around $10 each, with new nicotine cartridges sold in packs. Many industry experts expect all the other major tobacco companies to follow Altria's lead and come out with their own electronic cigarettes within the next couple of years.
We say: This is kinda cool but we're still worried about the toxic nano-sized metal particles found in some e-cigarette products.
Learn some mo': Marlboro maker Altria to sell e-cigarettes