Big tobacco is essentially a derogatory term that has come to refer to the mighty dollar tobacco industry. Since the revelations and admittance of the 90s by the industry that tobacco is harmful to health, there has been outright war by governments and the United nations against tobacco companies. The determination on the anti-tobacco campaign worldwide has been to see tobacco companies close shop to stop the carnage caused by tobacco use especially amongst the younger generation. In all this the industry has not been sleeping, it has also been devising ways and means to get ahead and at least maintain its market but at best continue to grow it. The following are some key highlights worth mentioning about what the industry has been up to.
A new type of growth through acquisitions
The new strategy used by the tobacco industry is to grow by acquiring smaller tobacco companies especially in the developing countries. Attempts have been made and in some cases successfully to take over tobacco companies in China. China has the largest number of smokers in the world standing at 350 million and increasing by 1 million each year. Recently in 2011 on of the world’s biggest tobacco company British American Tobacco (BAT) beat the American company Philip Morris International in acquiring a small tobacco company based in Colombia for $452 million.
Not only do acquisitions create some form of Pipe tobacco for sale growth for the industry at large, they also ensure that the tobacco industry maintains its stronghold on the world market. Developing country obviously provide a relief as much of the developed world has in place very tough measures against tobacco which makes growth and continued dominance a great challenge.
Doing away with tobacco smoking but keeping the nicotine
The industry is clear of the fact that campaigners have spent their energy, money and purpose on doing away with tobacco smoking. In fact in the minds of many people today it is tobacco smoking that is dangerous and not any other tobacco use which involves no burning tobacco. This is the reason why our kids are migrating from smoking tobacco to smokeless tobacco such as chew and snuff.
Big tobacco has these insights through intensive studies and research. It therefore appears that the way to go for the industry is to place heavy emphasis of smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco. Multi-million dollar studies are also in motion to develop products that deliver nicotine to the lungs and then the brain whilst eliminating the need to burn the actual tobacco which in the process produces carcinogens which cause cancer. Reynolds America is currently actively looking into developing a product that delivers nicotine without burning tobacco.