GREENSBORO, N.C. — Just as e-cigarettes, the battery-powered nicotine delivery devices promoted as a healthy alternative to smoking, are beginning to draw scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration for their unknown health effects and lack of regulation, the major tobacco companies are turning their research and development efforts to an even more irresistible electronic gadget: the e-crack pipe.
Lorillard, market leader and owner of Blu eCigs, “is absolutely thrilled with the growth of e-cigarettes, especially in our younger demographics,” said company representative, Eva Watkins. “Millennials really have been responding to the fun flavors we offer, like bubblegum and cotton candy, as well as to the celebrity endorsements. But all the buzz around ‘vaping’ is nothing compared to what ‘rocking’ promises.”
According to responses from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, one in 10 high school students tried an e-cigarette in the past year, marking a 100% usage increase for middle and high school students.
“But,” Watkins explained, “if there’s one thing we learned from the precipitous decline in traditional cigarette smoking amongst teenagers recently, it’s that we have to innovate to stay ahead of government restrictions and public health campaigns.”
Lorillard declined to provide the new ePipe’s exact specifications, citing competition from other tobacco companies as they vie to become the first to release a version of the device. Watkins did reveal that the ePipe will come with “a built-in camera to Instragram all the sordid things you’ll do to pay for the digital crack rocks,” which will start at $120 for a pack of 10.
One of the digital photo effects to be included with the software will allow the superimposition of thousands of insects over the user’s body. Marketing materials indicate that the company hopes “this feature allows the ePiper to share his or her delusions with friends and family.”
The company remains “committed to the health of ePipers,” said Watkins. “The electronic delivery will mean less tooth decay and no ammonia from smoke to irritate cohabitants in your e-crack den.”
Lorillard is on schedule to release its ePipe by late September, in time for most high schools’ homecoming events.