Why the company behind Marlboro is laying off workers
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal has caused a buzz in the vaping world – money that was once being spent on tobacco products will soon be invested into electronic cigarettes.
The tobacco giant Altria Group Inc is most well-known for its Marlboro brand of cigarettes, and used to be known as Phillip Morris. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Marlboro is America’s favourite cigarette brand with 41 per cent of the market share, which is more than the total of the next four biggest combined.
As the number of smokers throughout America drops each year, Altria Group – and other tobacco suppliers – are losing their grip over consumers.
That’s why the company is reportedly laying off enough workers to save as much as $300 million every year. The Wall Street Journal indicated that Altria’s chief executive wasn’t specific about what they were planning to do with the money, but did say that the company would continue to invest in ‘reduced harm products’.
With 10 per cent of Americans now counting themselves as vapers, reduced harm products such as electronic cigarettes are a clear investment in a growing market, especially for a company that’s losing money on cigarette sales.
That said, the USA looks set to introduce new regulations and laws around electronic cigarettes and vaping products that could change the industry and make it harder for some retailers to succeed.
Either way, any move away from combustible cigarettes and towards reduced harm products is a good one, as it may help encourage more people to quit smoking and move to a significantly less damaging habit.