Victory electronic cigarettes’ vapestick(r) brand launches in russia — seeking alpha

SPRING LAKE, MICHIGAN (Marketwired) 01/30/14 Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation (ECIG), the emerging leader in the global electronic cigarette industry, today announced that its newly acquired VAPESTICK brand has now begun the roll out of its premium e cigarette products into Russia, as one of the first international e cigarette brands to do so.

According to a recent report by Euromonitor International, Russia is the world’s second largest e cigarette market, with Russian tobacco smokers representing around one third of its 143 million population. In 2013 tobacco smoking restrictions were introduced in Russia, with further bans on public use planned for 2014. The Russian e cigarette market is estimated to be worth at least $2 billion in 2014, with the US, Russia, Germany and UK thought to represent more than 60% of the global e cigarette market between them.

VAPESTICK is now supplying its disposable and rechargeable e cigarettes to pharmacies and supermarkets across Russia, via a Moscow based nationwide distributor that supplies many of Russia’s major pharmacy chains, including Aptechka, 36.6, ABE, Gorzdrav, Pharmazevt, Rossa and Samson Pharma, and also Russia’s high end supermarkets.

Michael Clapper, President International at Victory Electronic Cigarettes, and former co founder at VAPESTICK noted, &quot We are delighted to have taken this very significant step in our international development plans. The reaction to the VAPESTICK brand in Russia has exceeded our highest expectations and to be selected as one of the first international e cigarette brands to launch into Russia is a testament to the quality, style and performance of the VAPESTICK product range. We plan to maximize on this first mover opportunity for an international brand in Russia.»

Brent Willis, Chairman and CEO of Victory Electronic Cigarettes and a former senior leader of a number of multi billion dollar global companies, including Coca Cola, Kraft and Inbev commented, &quot Michael and his team have not wasted a moment since our acquisition of VAPESTICK earlier this month and this is a fantastic development for Victory and its shareholders, to gain a significant foothold in such a key strategic market.&quot

About VAPESTICK

VAPESTICK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation, and one of Europe’s leading brands of premium e cigarettes. With its distinctive black and chrome style designs and signature blue light tips, VAPESTICK has grown to become one of the most recognized brands in the market and sells its products both online at and through thousands of retail outlets across UK and Europe, including Tesco, Costco, Harrods, Argos and WHSmith. VAPESTICK was recently ranked number one in batch consistency and product delivery among the UK’s leading brands in an independent study initiated by the UK’s Department of Health. The business is also a founding board member of ECITA (the European Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association).

About Victory

Victory Electronic Cigarettes is dedicated to providing a cleaner and healthier alternative to smoking for all, and intends to empower smokers to regain their freedom. Victory is one of the leading companies in this rapidly emerging and fast growing market. Victory offers consumers a full product portfolio that incorporates the highest quality and latest technology, and has been rated as superior in ‘real tobacco taste’ amongst major brands. Recently public, Victory’s experienced management team is positioned to leverage its differentiated portfolio, distinct go to market approach, and low cost infrastructure to accelerate growth and drive significant value for its shareholders. The Company owns a range of brands for different markets and customers, has applied for patents on breakthrough technology, and operates the website at

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This press release contains forward looking statements reflecting management’s current expectations regarding future results of operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of Victory, including statements regarding Victory’s expectation to see continued growth. The forward looking statements are based on the assumption that operating performance and results will continue to materialize consistent with recent trends. Management believes these assumptions to be reasonable but there is no assurance that they will prove to be accurate. Forward looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include Victory’s reliance on additional financing, as Victory has not achieve profitability risks associated with Victory’s products, including that they may pose a health risk governmental regulations may impact Victory’s business the market or consumers may not accept Victory’s products Victory relies on a single class of products existing or pending patents may affect Victory’s business and other factors disclosed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unless required by applicable law, Victory undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements.

Contacts For investor inquiries please contact Partner, ICR, Inc. James Palczynski 203.682.8229 jp 

Source Victory Electronic Cigarettes

Tobacco companies accused of promoting cigarette brands online

Leading health organisations have expressed alarm at how the internet is being used to promote smoking.

Tobacco companies deny using the online world to market their brands, but there is mounting concern that social networking sites are glamorising smoking, especially among young people.

British American Tobacco (BAT) has been forced to conduct a damage limitation exercise after it emerged that several of its employees had established fan sites on Facebook for the company’s Lucky Strike and Dunhill brands, apparently without the company’s knowledge.

Ash, the anti smoking group, has also established that BAT hired an online marketing firm, iKineo, to promote the Lucky Strike brand in South Africa.

iKineo boasted on its website that it had «extended the Lucky Strike campaign into the digital space, using it to mobilise a powerful underground movement to advocate the brand».

Other tobacco companies have also looked to the internet. Thousands of smokers who had to confirm they were over 18 simply by clicking on an online box have accessed a website allowing them to design packets for new blends of Camel cigarettes, manufactured by the American firm RJ Reynolds (RJR). The resulting exercise saw the launch of a range of new packets that extended the Camel brand and saw it climb up internet search engine rankings.

The market research exercise did not breach rules prohibiting tobacco advertising, but Robin Hewings, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco control manager, said «The industry has a history of searching for loopholes which allow its lethal products to target young people.»

It is not always clear who has established the pro smoking sites. In 1997 RJR withdrew its Joe Camel cartoon figure from its advertising campaigns after the American Medical Association published a report claiming that young children could recognise him more easily than Mickey Mouse. Now a Facebook search for «Joe Camel» brings up more than 25 sites dedicated to the character.

YouTube also carries old cigarette adverts that would fall foul of the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, recognised by 168 countries if they were aired on television. An analysis of 163 YouTube tobacco brand related videos, carried out by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand, found that 71% featured «pro tobacco content». Many of the clips are highly sophisticated in their use of tobacco packets. One «freeze frame» video shows a Marlboro packet being turned into a Transformer robot similar to those featured in the blockbuster film.

Internal industry papers released as a result of legal action reveal that tobacco firms have been experimenting with the internet as a marketing weapon for years. US tobacco company Lorillard ran an online competition at the start of the millennium allowing young people to vote on their favourite music videos. The competition was ostensibly designed to promote the company’s slogan «Tobacco is Whacko if You are a Teen» a message that has been attacked by anti tobacco campaigners for implying that smoking was acceptable among adults.

Fresh concerns about the tobacco firms’ use of cyberspace were raised last week when it emerged that the annual Global Tobacco Networking Forum had held a workshop on social media for thousands of delegates in the cigarette industry. Those attending also heard a talk on «Social Media in Regulated Markets» from Jason Falls, a leading expert on internet branding.

In an emailed response to the Observer, Falls said he was unable to discuss his talk, citing the conference’s rules barring speakers from discussing the subject with the media. But Falls emailed a copy of a presentation that he gives to other clients in which he discusses how «it is entirely possible to leverage social media marketing and the social web as a company in a regulated industry».

The presentation notes «Regulations and guidelines are not impediments. They are necessary and opportunities to innovate in the social media space.»

Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said «I would like the people who are responsible for these new forms of social media to be more responsible in the content they allow, especially content which glamorises and promotes smoking to young people.»

A BAT spokeswoman insisted it was not company policy to use social networking sites to promote its brands after the allegations first surfaced in an academic paper at the University of Sydney in Australia. «Our employees, agencies and service providers should never use social media to promote our tobacco brands,» BAT said.


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