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Austin may not allow e-cigarette use indoors, but the city has still proved fertile territory for R.J. Reynolds' marketing push around its "smart" e-cig Vuse, which has a robust presence at SXSW.
The brand, which is set to hit stores in the middle of this year, is the official e-cigarette product at the film, music and interactive festival. (It was also an exhibitor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas two months ago.) Although it is entering the market after smaller brands such as nJoy and Blu have already made their marks, R.J. Reynolds is pitching Vuse as a game-changing technology: The microprocessor and chip inside monitors and adjusts the heat and power being delivered to ensure what the brand calls consistently satisfying puffs.
We spoke to RIchard Smith, lead manager of communications at R.J. Reynolds about why Vuse is at SXSW, how it will handle approaching government regulation and what its marketing plans are.