Cigarettes generate a lot of economic activity.
The tobacco industry supports:
1. Landowners who rent to
2. Tobacco farmers who employ laborers and buy equipment.
3. Companies that buy the tobacco and pay workers to refine the product, and various professionals to research all aspects of the product, to design and package the product, to bring the product to market.
4. Companies that move the product to store shelves.
5. Stores that sell the product.
6. Health workers (doctors, pharmacists, etc.) that come in when smokers get sick.
7. The pharmaceutical industry around quit smoking products.
8. The anti-smoking industry.
9. Bureaucrats involved around regulatory issues.
10. General support for government spending through taxes levied on smokers and tobacco companies.
How can e-cigarettes compete with this?
Being a mass produced manufactured good, the agricultural component is mostly gone. Since vapers don’t get sick or need to quit there goes all the support for the health industry and bye bye to pharmaceuticals and the anti-smoking groups. And goodbye to most of the taxes.
In general, things that break down, damage your health, or damage the environment create a lot more jobs and flow of capital than things that don’t.
So I guess it is kind of a selfish thing to do to switch to ecigs, thinking only of our own health and not about the wealth of the community. The very least we can do is thank the remaining smokers for holding the fort for the rest of us.