October 26, 2013

NJoy: Renormalization a Strategy not a Consequence

The New York Times ran a lengthy piece on electronic cigarettes that featured prominently NJoy e-cigarettes along with a healthy dose of Stan Glantz. The company talked about its strategy to mimic traditional cigarettes as closely as possible, while backhandedly slam competitors. NJoy's big push is to renormalize smoking in the form of e-cigarettes, so really it's the idea of normalizing e-cigarettes since they were never denormalized.

The E-Cigarette Industry, Waiting to Exhale

Mr. Vuleta, who told his tale in the office of Craig Weiss, the NJOY chief executive, calls this a process of “renormalizing,” so that smokers can come back in from the cold. He means that literally — allowing people now exiled to the sidewalks back into buildings with e-cigarettes. But he also means it metaphorically. Early in the last century, smoking was an accepted alternative for men to chewing tobacco; for women, it was daring and transgressive. Then, in midcentury, it became the norm. As the dangers of tobacco — and the scandalous behavior of tobacco companies in concealing those dangers — became impossible to ignore, smoking took on a new identity: societal evil.

The article is a fascinating read even with the paragraphs that deal with Professor Glantz's freakouts. One interesting thing that was mentioned in there was that in the company's dealings with the FDA in 2009, it intentionally argued that e-cigarettes should be tobacco products and therefore subject to the then new tobacco regulations. Of course this was to prevent an immediate outright ban, but it seems to be a bit of an out of the frying pan and into the fire… for many of NJoy's competitors.

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Introducing the world's first Vapor Zeus!

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