Reynolds America Inc., maker of Camel and Newport cigarettes, is going after JUUL’s share of the vape market with inexpensive vapes, designer vape skins, and a marketing campaign that uses young adult models and musicians that appeal to young adults, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s a similar practice that got vape giant JUUL in hot water with federal regulators for targeting teens and creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
Reynold’s Vuse vape devices are flying off store shelves in recent months. The tobacco giant has enticed vapers by selling its vaporizers for as little as 99 cents each, and launching television ads, buying billboard space, and flooding the social media market with ads. Now, the company is hiring musicians and artists for videos that show them designing special skins for their Vuse devices.
Reynolds claims the jump in sales of the Vuse is due to its quality, wide availability, and pricing. The brand has become second only to JUUL in vape sales after scoring an 83% spike in sales in the four weeks ending July 25 compared to the same four weeks last July when Reynolds first dropped the price of its vape pens to less than a dollar. Meanwhile, during the four weekends ending July 25, JUUL sales fell 29%.
JUUL still has about 22% of the vape market share, a drop from its heyday. But the company has struggled under pressure from federal regulators and lawsuits that have criticized the company for its use of flavored e-liquids and its advertisements using social media influencers popular with teens. Thanks to JUUL, teen vaping has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.
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