"Beyond Tobacco" How the World is Adopting Healthier Alternatives to Smoking July 02, 2020 - Baystreet.ca Despite overwhelming medical evidence surrounding the dangers of smoking cigarettes, the number of smokers still remains high. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 34 million Americans who are active smokers and over 480,000 people die from the habit every year. Although numbers still remain high, more and more smokers are looking for ways to nix the habit, with 55.1% trying to quit in 2018. To keep up with changing tastes, many companies are developing healthier alternatives to smoking. Tobacco giants Altria Group (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) are hoping to diversify their portfolios as more and more smokers turn over a new leaf. Meanwhile, companies like 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE:XXII), Turning Point Brands Inc (NYSE:TPB) and TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands (CSE:TAAT) are specializing in better-for-you alternatives through innovative product offerings like hemp-derived cigarettes.Consumers Continue to Seek Healthier Alternatives to SmokingStringent laws and smoking bans in public places, along with increased awareness surrounding the health risks of smoking, are fueling the smoking cessation market and creating a lucrative opportunity for companies developing innovative products. The smoking cessation market, which was worth over $18 billion in 2018, is now expected to reach $63.99 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 16.9%.Unlike most of the smoking cessation products on the market, early-stage life sciences company TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands (CSE:TAAT) is offering tobacco users a better-for-you alternative to smoking that is both tobacco-free and nicotine-free.On June 22, TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands (CSE:TAAT) announced that it has developed hemp cigarettes that are flavored with naturally-occurring terpenes and a proprietary blend of tobacco flavoring to create a user experience that closely mimics smoking a traditional cigarette."Tobacco-flavoured cigarettes with CBD can make a significant difference in helping people to quit smoking,” said TAAT founder Joe Deighan. “I can understand the complexity of tobacco addiction both from the perspective of being a former smoker myself, and from the perspective of creating vapourizer liquid using proprietary formulas that proved wildly popular in the U.S. and internationally." By replicating almost e very aspect of the cigarette smoking experience, from inhalation to flavor, TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands (CSE:TAAT) hemp cigarettes have been designed to potentially provide a seamless transition from tobacco in a manner that doesn’t feel like a transition at all. What tobacco users expose their body to changes, but the habitual motions and sensations stay the same. Other companies like Turning Point Brands Inc (NYSE:TPB) are offering smokeless tobacco products like moist snuff and chewing tobacco. However, although these types of products have been declared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be less harmful than cigarettes, they are still not completely safe. The FDA requires smokeless tobacco products to display warning labels to show the dangers of snuff and chewing tobacco, which includes mouth cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss. US cigarette manufacturer Altria Group (NYSE:MO) also joined the smokeless tobacco space last year after paying $372 million for an 80% stake in Swiss tobacco company, Burger Sohne. Meanwhile, plant biotechnology company 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE:XXII) has developed reduced nicotine content tobacco cigarettes that contain 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes. The idea behind the products is to enable adult smokers to experience the same taste and smell as conventional cigarettes, but with minimal exposure to nicotine. Big Tobacco Companies Jump on the Smoking Cessation Bandwagon The growing number of government-mandated public awareness and anti-smoking initiatives has also caused Big Tobacco companies like Altria Group (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) to take the “if you can’t beat em, join em” approach. In April 2019, British tobacco titan Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) made an uncharacteristic move and launched the Unsmoke campaign to promote smoking cessation products. The company also developed its own smokeless electronic device called IQOS, which heats tobacco instead of burning it, in an effort to lessen the adverse effects of smoking by delivering fewer toxins. The FDA approved the sale of IQOS products in April and Altria Group (NYSE:MO) announced its plan to launch the products in Atlanta, Georgia, this summer in roughly 500 retail stores. The products are also sold by Philip Morris in 50 other countries around the world. Marlboro-maker Altria Group (NYSE:MO) also has a stake in the e-cigarette market through a $12.8 billion investment in Juul. When Altria made the investment in December 2018, the privately-held e-cigarette market was valued at $38 billion. The vape industry has since taken a major hit, due to vape-related deaths in the US and an increase in usage among young people. Juul is now facing hundreds of lawsuits regarding its products and marketing methods and is now valued at $12 billion. Electronic cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a quit smoking aid and have even been reported to increase nicotine dependency, whereas alternative products like TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands’ (CSE:TAAT) hemp cigarettes completely remove nicotine from the equation. For more information on TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Brands’ (CSE:TAAT), click here. Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: While all information is believed to be reliable, it is not guaranteed by us to be accurate. Individuals should assume that all information contained in our article is not trustworthy unless verified by their own independent research. Also, because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected, there will likely be differences between any predictions and actual results. Always consult a licensed investment professional before making any investment decision. 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