The market share for Marlboro steadily increased to over 10&#x00025 by 1971, to over 20&#x00025 by 1983, to over 30&#x00025 by 1995, and to over 40&#x00025 by 2005. Marlboro cigarettes have killed more than 2.3 million Americans since 1955 with another expected 1.6 million deaths in the next 10 years. Put another way, in 2005, Marlboro is estimated to account for 30&#x00025 of all smoking&#x02010 attributable deaths in the United States.

It is important to recognise that the estimates presented in this paper are subject to limitations including the length of the lag period used, the amount smoked by Marlboro smokers compared to other smokers, and brand switching to and from Marlboro products however, there is no getting around the overall conclusion that Marlboro is by far and away the most lethal consumer product ever produced. More Americans have died or will die because of Marlboro than US soldiers who have died in all foreign wars combined.6 However, merely considering the number of deaths attributable to Marlboro in the United States over the past half century is surely a huge underestimate of the total death toll from Marlboro, given the brands position as the world’s best selling cigarette. According to a recent Philip Morris International report, Marlboro is considered the greatest asset of the company with projected strong growth predicted for the future worldwide.7 With the death toll from tobacco estimated to reach 10 million annually by 2020, it is likely that Marlboro’s next 50 years could prove to be its most deadly.8

Birthdays are a time to reflect on the good and bad that has taken place in the past and what the future might hold. Perhaps instead of sponsoring a birthday bash commemorating 50 years of the Marlboro man, Philip Morris should hold a funeral and send the Marlboro man to his grave like so many of his loyal customers.

Midday report: marlboro maker moves into e-cigarettes – dailyfinance

European union approves tough rules on electronic cigarettes – easy branches
Cigarette makers are embracing a non tobacco alternative.

Altria Group (MO) makes the Marlboro brand and is the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. But sales of tobacco products have been in decline for years, so Altria and others are looking at electronic cigarettes to make up for some of their lost tobacco sales.

Getty Images Altria said last week that it plans to roll out an e cigarette later this year, as it tries to catch up to rivals who already have them on the market.

Lorillard (LO) has a leading brand blu eCigs. And Reynolds American is looking to expand sales of its Vuse brand. British American Tobacco is working on what it calls a new “tobacco inhalation device” that is not an electronic cigarette.

The market so far is pretty small. According to The Wall Street Journal, sales totaled just $500 million dollars last year less than one percent of tobacco sales. But the market for e cigarettes is expected to double this year, and continue to grow.

And with tobacco sales declining, the industry needs a new source of revenue. Altria reported that cigarette sales in the U.S. tumbled 5.2 percent in the first quarter, and the industry wide drop has been even steeper.

So how do these e cigarettes work, and are they really any healthier than traditional tobacco rolled cigarettes?

An advertisement we found on several popular websites lists some of the benefits. It claims e cigarettes do not have any tar, tobacco or carbon monoxide. It also says there is no second hand smoke.

The FDA is expected to release its report on e cigs any day now. It doesn’t currently regulate them, but is likely to push for that oversight responsibility. So far, it’s said only that “further research” is needed into the potential health benefits and risks.

As we said, Altria is starting from behind, but analysts say it can use its size and strength to quickly catch up. Some say an acquisition is likely.

While e cigarettes hold the potential to offset some of the sales declines, there’s also the possibility that they could accelerate that trend, by cannibalizing existing sales. But some estimates, 20 percent of all smokers in the U.S. have tried e cigarettes.

For smokers there are other benefits to the alternative. There’s no second hand smoke, you won’t small like a cigarette, and you could save money. Each cartridge, which roughly equals a pack of cigarettes, costs about $2 considerably less than the real thing.