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Reynolds E-Cigarettes Go National

Vuse electronic cigarettes, part of a growing industry, are now being distributed nationally.
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company

Reynolds American is now distributing its electronic cigarettes nationally. The Vuse vapor product had been widely available in only four states until now. It became the top-selling E-cigarette in Utah and Colorado last year. E-cigarettes heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge that is then inhaled. Vuse is a battery-powered, smokeless vapor product.

"We make no health claims about Vuse and there is no safe tobacco product," said Richard Smith, spokesman with R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American. "That said it is different from a combustible cigarette. Consider that with Vuse there is no burning of the tobacco leaf, there is no combustion, so there is no smoke, no second-hand smoke, ash, cigarette butt litter, it is a different product all together."

Industry wide E-cigarettes brought in more than $2 billion in revenue last year.

"There's no way really to predict the future of how successful this product will be. But as I said before if results in Colorado and Utah are any indication we are going to experience major success with this product," added Smith.

Some analysts have predicted this could become a $10 billion a year business and eventually surpass traditional cigarettes. There is no Surgeon General's warning on the product. The company is putting its own warning label on the package. 

Smith said the product is now available at about 15,000 locations across the country.

Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.
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