E-cigarette maker sets sights on Boston

Logic Technology, a manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, has decided to increase its presence in the Boston area. The company will be putting signs on taxi tops and will be running an extensive advertising campaign on radio. Boston.com conducted an interview with Logic CEO Eli Alelov via e-mail to learn about the company’s plans and to gain a better understanding of its product.

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Boston.com: How do e-cigarettes differ from traditional cigarettes?

Eli Alelov: Logic Technology provides a sensory experience that satisfies a smoker’s addictive cravings for the nicotine, tobacco flavor, hand to mouth motion, and vapor release, while avoiding the thousands of toxins that are in cigarettes. There is no tobacco in electronic cigarettes. The product’s only byproduct is odorless water vapor – there is no smoke. Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine. They are simply a nicotine delivery.

Boston.com: How are e-cigarettes regulated?

Alelov: Currently e-cigarettes are not regulated by the government. This spring, the FDA is expected to start regulating the e-cig industry in some way. I think, on some level, it’s good for the government to get involved. This may eliminate “me too” brands that are not following industry rules, regulations, not meeting standards (putting age restrictions on packaging, for example) and manufacturing without product liability insurance for nicotine. Cheap e-cigs are hurting the e-cig industry.

Regulation can also potentially ban the manufacturing of flavors that appeal to nonsmokers and children. Logic only manufactures two flavors that appeal to smokers – tobacco and menthol. A smoker would never smoke a flavor that is not tobacco or menthol. The FDA may also try to regulate Internet sales to control underage purchasing of the product.

Boston.com: Explain your plans for the Boston market.

Alelov: Logic is saturating the Boston market with signage and radio advertising where the smokers are – in their cars and outside on the street. Since smoking indoors is illegal in public locations, smokers are outside. Logic is the first e-cigarette brand to have signage on taxi tops in Boston. We are also the first e-cigarette company to advertise on WBZ News Radio.

Boston.com: Why Boston?

Alelov: Boston is a big market for sales. Logic has very strong distribution in Massachusetts. Today, there are still a large number of smokers in Boston so we want to educate the public here about the new alternative. A number of these smokers are younger – in their 20s – so we want to show the new alternative to early adopters and get them to choose electronic cigarettes over traditional cigarettes if they don’t want to give up smoking altogether.

Boston.com: Do you consider e-cigarettes a safer choice for smokers?

Alelov: We can’t say safer so we say “smarter” choice or alternative. Again, traditional cigarettes have thousands of harmful chemicals. Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco; only nicotine.

Boston.com: Is your marketing targeted purely at existing smokers?

Alelov: Yes our product is designed for smokers only. There is a report that shows that by end of 2015, 20 percent of smokers in the US will smoke e-cigs. In five to seven years, more than 50 percent of smokers will smoke e-cigs. This tells us the e-cig market is going to continue to keep growing.