10 things e-cigarettes won't tell you — wsj.com

The cigarettes of the future could be safer, cheaper and less taboo than the smokes of the past. But they also threaten to upend decades of antismoking efforts.

1 «We’re Big Tobacco in disguise.»

When electronic cigarettes made their debut in the U.S. about five years ago, they seemed like a threat to the traditional cigarette industry.

The battery powered devices, which turn nicotine laced liquid into vapor, promised a less harmful and more socially acceptable alternative to combustible paper and tar cigarettes and they were cheaper, not being subject to hefty tobacco taxes.

Already, the underdog industry is on track to hit nearly $2 billion in sales for 2013, tripling its 2012 figures, says Wells Fargo WFC 0.00% Wells Fargo & Co. U.S. NYSE $46.05 0.00 0.00% Feb. 27, 2014 4 01 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 12.63M AFTER HOURS $46.05 0.00 0.00% Feb. 27, 2014 7 34 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 1.22M P/E Ratio 11.66 Market Cap $242.31 Billion Dividend Yield 2.61% Rev. per Employee $334,606 02/27/14 Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Aw… 02/27/14 Wells Fargo to Cut 700 More Mo… 02/27/14 Wells Fargo Ordered to Pay Ex … More quote details and news WFC in Your Value Your Change Short position tobacco analyst Bonnie Herzog. And although the market for traditional cigarettes is still far bigger topping $80 billion Ms. Herzog predicts that e cigarettes could surpass old fashioned smokes in popularity within a decade.

But Big Tobacco brooks no challenge. The Big Three Altria Group, MO 1.21% Altria Group Inc. U.S. NYSE $35.87 0.43 1.21% Feb. 27, 2014 4 00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 5.57M AFTER HOURS $35.94 0.07 0.20% Feb. 27, 2014 7 30 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 28,415 P/E Ratio 15.87 Market Cap $70.63 Billion Dividend Yield 5.35% Rev. per Employee $1,940,990 02/19/14 Rise of the E Cigarette The M… 02/19/14 Altria To Launch MarkTen E Cig… 02/05/14 Philip Morris Has Room to Run … More quote details and news MO in Your Value Your Change Short position Reynolds American RAI 0.62% Reynolds American Inc. U.S. NYSE $50.02 0.31 0.62% Feb. 27, 2014 4 02 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 3.55M AFTER HOURS $50.02 0.00 0.00% Feb. 27, 2014 4 22 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) 3,709 P/E Ratio 15.93 Market Cap $26.69 Billion Dividend Yield 5.36% Rev. per Employee $1,556,900 02/11/14 Reynolds Profi
t Up Despite Low… 01/10/14 One of Corporate America&#39 s Big… More quote details and news RAI in Your Value Your Change Short position and Lorillard have all made forays into e cigarettes in the past two years.

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