MILAN, Dec 1 (Reuters) - British American Tobacco launched a new e-cigarette designed to appeal to young hipsters this week, with a retail store in Milan, stepping up its battle with rival Philip Morris to dominate the market for cigarette alternatives.
BAT, in talks to buy Reynolds American for more than $47 billion, says its new brightly colored, ergonomically shaped device, called the Vype Pebble, fills a gap in the market, which is currently dominated by e-cigarettes shaped like traditional cigarettes, or larger ones with tanks that can be bulky.
The Pebble shop, in Milan’s trendy canals district, will stay open for one year.
Larger rival Philip Morris International also opened a shop in London this week for its IQOS device, which creates vapour from tobacco, rather than nicotine-laced liquid as e-cigarettes do. ($1 = 0.8001 pounds) (Writing by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)