This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

E-Cigarettes Avoid EU Regulation, Anti-Tobacco Advocates Are Fuming

Stocks in this article: BTILOMORAI

James Dennin, Kapitall: E-cigarettes may be on the rise, as the European Parliament just voted not to regulate them like medicine.

Last month we wrote about the growing push-back domestically against the spread of electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes for short. Cities like New York are considering ways to ban them outright, or at least raise the purchasing age up to 21.

[Read more from Kapitall on E-Cigarettes: E-Cigarettes: Big Tobacco and FDA Start Paying Attention]

And a number of anti-tobacco advocates argue that the devices, which vaporize liquid nicotine for inhalation, are less a smoking cessation device than they are a tactic to lure in younger customers. 

But now, in a move likely to rile up anti-smoking advocates, the European Parliament  rejected a proposed ban on the sale of e-cigarettes alongside most other tobacco products. Advocates of the ban favored classifying e-cigarettes as medicines, subjecting them to much harsher regulation. Had the ban succeeded, many countries would have only permitted their sale in pharmacies or even required a prescription.

On one side, advocates of e-cigarettes decried and even protested the ban. Long-time nicotine addicts say that making them more difficult to find will lead to more tobacco related deaths, by restricting access to what they say is a more healthy alternative.

In a move that almost calls to mind the now hilariously misleading advertisements from the 1950s, a coalition of French doctors denounced the possible ban, calling e-cigarettes "infinitely safer," and an important part of the country's tobacco cessation efforts. 

But on the other hand, a lot of people, including the World Health Organization, are skeptical. (Let me reiterate that – much more skeptical.) They say the health effects of the devices have yet to be determined, and need to be meticulously studied before their availability is allowed to spread.

Investing ideas

In light of the EU's decision, momentum seems to be pushing solidly against the anti-smoking side. One of the biggest cigarette companies, Lorillard (LO) is buying up e-cigarette brands like hot cakes.

Lorillard already owns Blu, one of the largest e-cigarette companies in the US, and recently announced the purchase of another brand in the UK. Two companies that exclusively make e-cigarettes are already trading on pink sheets.

The other big names in tobacco, Altria (MO),  Reynolds (RAI), and British American Tobacco (BTIhave all bought patents for technology related to e-cigarettes, and started working on brands themselves. And analysts are projecting that the market for e-cigarettes will be twice the size in 2013 as it was in 2012.

That being said, e-cigarettes are still relatively unstudied. Attorneys General from 40 states have started pressuring the FDA for details on how to move forward (although the government shutdown isn't making this very easy).

Given their status as a smoke-less alternative to help you quit the normal ones – a single study with negative findings on e-cigarettes could send the whole thing up in smoke. 

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs