The web is abuzz (and in particular the ecig/vapor forums) with the news that Phillip Morris is in negotiations with Ruyan. It is too soon to either know if this will end up in a real deal and if it does it is too soon to do anything but speculate on the outcome as regards consumers.
If it goes through on the plus side: improved accessibility to ecigarettes, potentially inclient marketing by PM to their smokers and a stronger corporate presence to impede anti-ecigarette initiatives.
On the negative side the entry of PM would fulfil the anti-smoking claim of Big Tobacco being behind ecigarettes. This could have the unfortunate effect of actually tainting this promising alternative to smoking. I do not offer that as a substantial reason (I think that who actually makes or sells a product is irrelevant) but as something that could have a perceptual cost.
It should however bring us closer to seeing them on the shelf (that is, in jurisdictions which allow you to see them in the first place) next to cigarettes.
We’ll just have to wait and see…