Reynolds American Expanding E-Cig Distribution

Will make "significant and substantial" rollout announcement by mid-summer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Reynolds American Inc.'s experiment with making electronic cigarettes is about to move to a larger distribution scale, the company said at its annual shareholders meeting last week, reported The Winston-Salem Journal. The company provided several strategic updates during formal remarks by Daan Delen, its CEO and president.

R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. remains in test markets with its internally developed Vuse e-cigs with no reported sales numbers. It is selling Vuse at Tarheel Tobacco stores in Clemmons and Winston-Salem, N.C., and in Danville, Va., said the report.

Delen said the company plans to make a "significant and substantial" rollout announcement by mid-summer.

"Make no mistake, we expect to be a major player in this fast-growing category in the years ahead," he said.

Delen said Reynolds continues to "see very high levels of trial for [e-cigarette] products out there, but still low level of conversion."

He said Vuse will be able to carve out a market niche because its technology "is superior to anything in the category and more similar to the typical consumer smoking experience."

Company spokesperson David Howard told the newspaper that the company will make or assemble Vuse domestically.

Winston-Salem, N.J.-based Reynolds American Inc. is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., with cigarette brands including Camel, Pall Mall, Winston, Kool, Doral and Salem; American Snuff Co. LLC, with smokeless tobacco brands Grizzly and Kodiak; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., which manufactures and markets Natural American Spirit 100% additive-free natural tobacco products, including styles made with organic tobacco; and Niconovum AB, which markets nicotine replacement therapy products in Sweden under the Zonnic brand name.

Click here to read the full Winston-Salem Journal report.