From their press release...
blu ecigs is extremely proud and excited to announce today our acquisition by one of the largest and oldest companies in America, Lorillard, Inc. Lorillard, through its Lorillard Tobacco Company subsidiary, is the third-largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the U.S and has a long and proud tradition that will compliment the passion of blu ecigs in the emerging electronic cigarette category.
“This is a very exciting move for me and my team. I am particularly excited about what this means for the brand and our customers. It gives us access to the tremendously experienced team and resources at Lorillard and will allow us to move to the next level on our expansion and product development."
Lorillard is best known as the US's biggest manufacturer of menthol cigarettes which the FDA has been attempting - but failing - to prohibit. In recent years, RJ Reynolds has bought the snus company Conwood (2006) and the NRT company Niconovum (2009). British American Tobacco has since set up a company which will sell a yet-to-be-announced reduced harm nicotine product (Nicoventures, 2011). This all suggests that Big Tabs hopes to shift the market towards low risk substitutes.
The Lorillard buy-out is good news, especially if they pump serious money into developing better products. I've said before that e-cigarettes can replicate the sensation of smoking very well but there's room for improvement when it comes to taste (at least to these lips, many thousands of people disagree). I fully expect e-cigarettes to come on leaps and bounds in the next few years unless they are suppressed by the prohibitionists.
Speaking of the devil, as I do, the down-side of this acquisition is that it will enable the pro-death wing of the anti-smoking movement to portray those of us who favour a market-driven shift towards low/zero-risk nicotine products as being stooges of Big Baccy. But since they do that already and always will, it's probably best to ignore their squealing and get on with doing what they have never done, ie. providing realistic alternatives for people who like nicotine but who want to quit smoking, while leaving the rest of us alone.