Try this. It may kill you. This has long been the marketing dilemma of the world’s biggest cigarette groups. Nicandro Durante, who is stepping down as CEO of British American Tobacco (BAT), hoped e-cigarettes were the solution. But vaping kits and other smoking alternatives may yet come with a health warning. Over the past six years, the UK-listed company, known for Dunhill and Camel, has invested $2.5bn in new products. Even war-ravaged Afghanistan restricts office smoking, so this makes sense. Vaping gear produced £500m of revenue in 2017. It should generate £1bn — or about 5% of the total — this year. The company hopes its new products will break even by early next year. All being well, BAT sees sales rising to 30% by 2030. There is less cigarette smoke in the air, but there are dark clouds on the horizon for multinationals practising the dying art of cigarette making. Smokers complain vaping still does not deliver a hit as good as the real thing. A patented e-cigarette that did ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.