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Big tobacco now lighting up the e-cigarette market

A woman tries an electronic cigarette
A woman tries an electronic cigarette
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Supporters of electronic cigarettes have long touted their benefits. They say that the devices help smokers quit, that they eliminate the dangers related to second hand smoke and that they're an overall healthier option to cigarettes. 

But this idea of the e-cigarette being a better version of the traditional one has sparked heated debates between health advocates and backers of the devices. Some say that they just encourage an unhealthy habit, and some policy makers believe that they actually might induce young people to become smokers. 

Studies have shown the truth behind the claims that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes, that those claims are specious at best. Now e-cigarette supporters are getting powerful new backers in big tobacco companies.

Reynolds American, which makes Camel cigarettes, announced that a company subsidiary would start distributing a new e-cigarette called Vuse. Plus, the parent company of the Marlboro brand, Altria, is planning to release their own e-cigarette device called MarkTen.

Matt Richtel, a reporter for the New York Times has been writing about big tobacco and the e-cigarette market, and he joins Take Two to talk about his recent report

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