blu eCigs

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blu
IndustryElectronic cigarette
FoundedMay 2009
Headquarters
Area served
United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Russian Federation
ParentFontem Ventures B.V.
Websitewww.blu.com

blu is an electronic cigarette brand owned by tobacco giant Imperial Brands.[1] The brand sells its products in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy[2] and Russian Federation.[citation needed]

History[edit]

blu was launched in May 2009 by Australian entrepreneur Jason Healy and other investors in Charlotte, NC.[3] Jason Healy is the founder and former president blu.[4] Healy called blu "a lifestyle brand for smokers".[5] Lorillard Tobacco Company purchased the bluCigs brand for an estimated $135 million in April 2012 and expanded into the UK market by taking over the existing Skycig brand for $48.5 million.[6] This makes them the first of the Big Tobacco companies to enter into the e-cigarette market.[7] Skycig was dissolved in March 2014 as Lorillard announced that all of its products would be sold under the blu brand.[8] blu eCigs was criticized for selling the company.[9] All the posts on the blu eCigs’ website criticizing the company were removed.[9] blu eCigs went from 10,000 to 136,000 retailers selling blu after Lorillard acquired the brand.[10] blu eCigs closed their Edinburgh site in 2015 in the US putting 55 jobs at risk.[11]

The blu disposable model of e-cigarette.
The blu disposable model of e-cigarette.

When Lorillard was purchased by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, blu was sold to Imperial Brands as part of a $7.1 billion deal between the two companies, to avoid any potential inquiries from antitrust regulators, as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco already owned the e-cig brand Vuse.[12]

In 2015 blu eCigs' website stated, "our position is that electronic cigarettes are addicting."[13] In 2015 blu eCigs was the second most popular e-cigarette brand in the US with sales of 23.6% dollar, 17.3% unit.[14] blu sells its products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy[2] and Russian Federation.[citation needed]

myblu flavor pods
myblu flavor pods

In 2016, the e-cigarette brand JAI (also owned by Fontem Ventures[15]) was discontinued to focus more attention on building the blu brand of e-cigarettes.[16]

Products[edit]

blu offers rechargeable, single-use and refillable e-liquid products such as blu PLUS+, blu PRO, and blu GO.[2] myblu uses liquid pods.[17]

Research[edit]

blu eCigs were used in a health study involving other e-cigarette brands[18] The study found that e-cigarette smoking and exposure to e-cigarette aerosol has risks of inducing gene-expression changes in bronchial airway epithelium in vitro although less severe than those of smoking analog cigarettes.[18] It further found that these changes were more pronounced in products containing nicotine than those without nicotine.[18] A 2015 study found the average amount of copper in blu eCigs aerosol was at 6.1 times higher than traditional cigarette smoke.[19] A 2014 study tested 55 chemicals in e-cigarette aerosol for both blu and SKYCIG devices and found acrolein, acetaldehyde, and propionaldehyde at amounts 86 to 544 times less than in cigarette smoke.[20]

Food and Drug Administration investigation[edit]

On September 12, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) issued letters to the manufacturers of the five top-selling national US e-cigarette brands, including blu, that made up a vast majority of the products illegally sold to minors as part of the blitz this summer.[21] The US FDA asked each company to submit to them within 60 days plans describing how they will address the widespread youth access and use of their products.[21] If they fail to do so, or if the plans do not appropriately address this issue, the US FDA will consider whether it would be appropriate to revisit the current policy that results in these products remaining on the market without a marketing order from the agency.[21] This could mean requiring these brands to remove some or all of their flavored products that may be contributing to the rise in youth use from the market until they receive premarket authorization and otherwise meet all of their obligations under the law.[21]

Advertising[edit]

blu eCigs had the most advertising expenses, accounting for more than 75% of the entire e-cigarette advertising in 2012.[22] More than 60% of 2013 expenses were for blu eCigs.[23] Between 2011 and 2013, around 4 out of 5 of the e-cigarette TV commercials were viewed by young people were from the blu eCigs brand.[24] blu eCigs puts restrictions on advertising placement in order for viewers to consist of no less than 85% adults "in an effort to minimize any potential exposure to minors," according to a company statement.[25] Concerns arose from statistics that indicate minors who viewed e-cigarette TV commercials increased 250% from 2011 to 2013.[26] "In 2014, Lorillard's blu eCigs ran a radio advertising campaign to oppose the effort to amend Los Angeles's existing smokefree law to include e‐cigarettes. The campaign urged users to attend city council hearings and testify against the ordinance, and blu eCigs retweeted posts, used similar hashtags to those of e‐cigarette user groups and trade associations, and encouraged its followers to retweet these messages," according to a 2016 report.[27]

In January 2017, blu ran a "Cigarette Amnesty" campaign in the UK across three cities in which smokers were encouraged to throw their cigarette packets into a shredder.[28] In June 2017, blu's parent company, Fontem Ventures, also ran a "Science Of Vaping" tour at the thecentre:mk in the UK which aimed to educate the public about e-cigarettes.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mangan, Dan (15 July 2014). "Feeling blu? E-cig company spun off in major tobacco deal". CNBC.
  2. ^ a b c "Fontem Venture's blu Debuts Global Marketing Campaign". Convenience Store News. 8 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Business North Carolina - March 2013: cover story". 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  4. ^ "E-Cig Maker Develops Foursquare-Style Check-In for Hookup Hunting Nicotine Addicts". 2011-04-19.
  5. ^ Daniel Nasaw (5 December 2012). "Electronic cigarettes challenge anti-smoking efforts". BBC News Online.
  6. ^ "Lorillard, Inc. Acquires British-based SKYCIG, Expanding its Electronic Cigarette Business - Press Release - Digital Journal". www.digitaljournal.com. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  7. ^ Mangan, Dan (15 July 2014). "Feeling blu? E-cig company spun off in major tobacco deal". CNBC.
  8. ^ "Electronic cigarette company Skycig becomes Blu eCig - Design Week". Design Week. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  9. ^ a b Otterbourg, Ken (March 2013). "Vapor trails". Business North Carolina. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05.
  10. ^ Giovenco, Daniel P.; Hammond, David; Corey, Catherine G.; Ambrose, Bridget K.; Delnevo, Cristine D. (2015). "E-Cigarette Market Trends in Traditional U.S. Retail Channels, 2012–2013". Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 17 (10): 1279–1283. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntu282. ISSN 1462-2203. PMC 4683368. PMID 25542918.
  11. ^ Gareth Mackie (2015-08-26). "Jobs at risk as e-cig firm Blu shuts Edinburgh site". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  12. ^ Bray, Michael J. de la Merced and Chad. "To Compete With Altria, Reynolds American Is Buying Lorillard". DealBook. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  13. ^ John R. Roby (14 August 2015). "Health Department proposes indoor ban on e-cigarettes". Pressconnects. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  14. ^ Melissa Vonder Haar (2015-08-18). "Nielsen: Electronic Cigarette Sales Growth Declines". CSPnet. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  15. ^ Martinne Geller (4 February 2015). "Imperial Tobacco widens e-cigarette strategy with new brand agency". Reuters.
  16. ^ "Fontem Ventures abandonnerait la JAI pour la Blu | Vaping Post". Vaping Post (in French). 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  17. ^ DSN Staff (15 April 2019). "Blu expands myblu Intense lineup". Drug Store News.
  18. ^ a b c Moses, Elizabeth; Wang, Teresa; Corbett, Sean; Jackson, George R.; Drizik, Eduard; Perdomo, Catalina; Perdomo, Claudia; Kleerup, Eric; Brooks, Daniel; O’Connor, George; Dubinett, Steven; Hayden, Patrick; Lenburg, Marc E.; Spira, Avrum (January 2017). "Molecular Impact of Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Exposure in Human Bronchial Epithelium". Toxicological Sciences. 155 (1): 248–257. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfw198. ISSN 1096-6080. PMC 5216655. PMID 27701119.
  19. ^ Lerner, Chad A.; Sundar, Isaac K.; Watson, Richard M.; Elder, Alison; Jones, Ryan; Done, Douglas; Kurtzman, Rachel; Ossip, Deborah J.; Robinson, Risa; McIntosh, Scott; Rahman, Irfan (2015). "Environmental health hazards of e-cigarettes and their components: Oxidants and copper in e-cigarette aerosols". Environmental Pollution. 198: 100–107. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2014.12.033. ISSN 0269-7491. PMC 4323666. PMID 25577651.
  20. ^ Stratton, Kathleen; Kwan, Leslie Y.; Eaton, David L. (January 2018). Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes (PDF). National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. National Academies Press. pp. Chapter 5–21. doi:10.17226/24952. ISBN 978-0-309-46834-3. PMID 29894118.
  21. ^ a b c d "FDA takes new steps to address epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, including a historic action against more than 1,300 retailers and 5 major manufacturers for their roles perpetuating youth access". United States Food and Drug Administration. 12 September 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  22. ^ Chu, Kar-Hai; Unger, Jennifer B.; Cruz, Tess Boley; Soto, Daniel W. (2015). "Electronic Cigarettes on Twitter – Spreading the Appeal of Flavors". Tobacco Regulatory Science. 1 (1): 36–41. doi:10.18001/TRS.1.1.4. ISSN 2333-9748. PMC 5108448. PMID 27853734.
  23. ^ Kornfield, Rachel; Huang, Jidong; Vera, Lisa; Emery, Sherry L (2015). "Rapidly increasing promotional expenditures for e-cigarettes". Tobacco Control. 24 (2): 110–111. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051580. ISSN 0964-4563. PMC 4214902. PMID 24789603.
  24. ^ Karen Kaplan (2 June 2014). "Teens and young adults confronted by more TV ads for e-cigarettes". Los Angeles Times.
  25. ^ Hope T. Jackson (2 June 2014). "E-Cigarette TV Ads Target Kids, Study Finds". ABC News.
  26. ^ By Colin Daileda (18 June 2014). "E-Cigarette Brands Battle to Keep Marketing Rights". Mashable.
  27. ^ Cox, Elizabeth; Barry, Rachel Ann; Glantz, Stanton (2016). "E-cigarette Policymaking by Local and State Governments: 2009-2014". The Milbank Quarterly. 94 (3): 520–596. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12212. ISSN 0887-378X. PMC 5020143. PMID 27620685.
  28. ^ Hannah Ellison (9 January 2017). "Behind the scenes: Blu hosts cigarette amnesty pop-up".
  29. ^ "Mayor of Milton Keynes officially opens Science of Vaping Tour". MKFM. 23 June 2017.

External links[edit]