Cowboy Showdown: Philip Morris Aims at Small
Electronic Cigarette Company
V2 Cigs Rebrands “V2 Cowboy” to “V2 Red”
March 14, 2011 11:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time
MIAMI--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--V2 Cigs, the fastest growing electronic cigarette company in the United
States, has changed the name of one of its best-selling products in response to demand letters from Philip Morris
USA, Inc., one of the world's largest cigarette manufacturers.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, have exploded in popularity in recent years, catching the eye of Big
Tobacco. Philip Morris recently targeted V2 Cigs, distributed by VMR Products, LLC, claiming their “Cowboy”
flavor infringed and diluted the Marlboro trademark. Philip Morris alleged the appearance of the V2 Cigs graphic
was likely to confuse consumers with the tobacco giant’s “Marlboro Man” trademark.
In response to Philip Morris’ demands, V2 Cigs has changed the imagery and name of their “Cowboy” product,
while keeping the same popular flavor. The company renamed it “V2 Red” and changed the imagery to one of a
modern maverick -- a motorcyclist riding into the sunset.
V2 Cigs’ V2 Red, formerly "Cowboy," is one of many flavors sold on its website (http://v2cigs.com).
Other flavors include Vanilla, Coffee, Menthol and Peppermint, but according to Jay Meistrell, a senior executive at
V2 Cigs, the “Cowboy” flavor is the most popular as it mimics the smooth tobacco flavor most smokers prefer.
Despite the challenges, V2 Cigs stands behind its products. “The testimonials of our customers speak for themselves
— their amazing stories of lifetimes spent smoking cigarettes and the damage tobacco caused to their health and their
families,” says Meistrell of V2 Cigs. “People have found a satisfying and healthier alternative to tobacco. The
personal triumph they express proves the benefits of our products.”
Electronic cigarettes function by converting a flavored nicotine or non-nicotine solution into a water vapor which
tastes, feels and looks like a traditional cigarette. However, the water vapor does not contain the harmful chemicals
or smell of tobacco smoke, making it an easy and desirable alternative for long-term smokers. The flavor solutions
are sold in disposable cartridges, which customers purchase along with a rechargeable battery in the approximate
size and shape of a traditional cigarette.
According to recent studies led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher Michael Siegel
and John Ayers, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the success of e-
cigarettes can be attributed to two main factors; effectiveness in mimicking cigarettes and increasingly stringent
“This study suggests that electronic cigarettes are helping thousands of ex-smokers remain off cigarettes,” said lead
author of the Boston University study, Michael Siegel. Their popularity has risen dramatically since their introduction
to the U.S. in 2004.
More on e-cigarettes:
V2 Cigs is the fastest growing electronic cigarette company in the US. For more information, please visit
Boston University School of Public Health: http://sph.bu.edu.
Siegel MB, Tanwar KL, Wood KS. Electronic cigarettes as a smoking-cessation tool: results from an online survey.
Am J Prev Med 40(4), 2011.
The Las Vegas Tobacco Plus Expo International held in March 2011, saw electronic cigarette-like related exhibitors
rise nearly 20% over 2010. E-cigs have been the darling of celebrities, making appearances on Late Show with
David Letterman, Dr. Oz, Howard Stern and in the film The Tourist with Johnny Depp. While e-cigarettes are not
always marketed as a smoking cessation device, many have found success in their efforts to eliminate tobacco, quit
smoking or as an alternative to smoking.
In federal statistics data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking rates were on the
decline between 2000 and 2005. They have stalled since then — remaining at around 20 percent of the population -
- or one in five. "Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death in this country," said CDC Director Thomas
R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. Link: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100907.htm
While Philip Morris has not released an official opinion on the success of e-cigarettes, they strongly back the FDA in
regulation of the product. This anti-competitive initiative by the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer makes it more
expensive to produce, distribute and market e-cigarettes. Link:
For V2 Cigs
Melisa Chantres, 877-261-6222
Marni Mutrux, 877-378-2767 ext. 803