So called Nicotine Replacement Therapy has been a major revenue stream for big pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. But it seems like sales are slowing thanks to the rise in popularity of vaping. CEO Andrew Witty has even mentioned that e-cigarettes have taken so much of their market share that they even contemplated creating their own e-cig:
“We’ve decided we’re not going to play. We’ve consciously had a think about it but we’re not going to play,” Witty said.
“Of course, it’s definitely taken a bit of our market, no question at all — but there’s a lot of competition in that space anyway.”
It’s no wonder that the companies that make a profit off of the 3-billion-dollars-per year smoking cessation industry are terrified of vaping. Studies have shown that smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes are significantly more likely to quit than those who switch to nicotine patches. And the rapid growth of the vape industry shows no signs of slowing down. The only question is, will pharmaceutical companies continue to just sit back and watch their market share dwindle, or will they take their cues from Big Tobacco and start lobbying to tax and regulate e-cigarettes out of existence?