on Tuesday said it has started a venture aimed at launching electronic cigarettes.

Imperial Tobacco’s famous brands like Davidoff and Gauloises are available and sold in many African countries.

According to Reuters, the company was fighting a tough consumer climate in Europe and other markets.

Reuters reported that the maker of Davidoff and Gauloises cigarettes said Fontem Ventures would look into areas such as e-vapour cigarettes.

“We’re looking at opportunities and we’re actively developing in that area at the moment,” Reuters quoted CEO Alison Cooper as saying.

According to Reuters, electronic cigarettes are battery-powered metal tubes that turn nicotine-laced liquid into vapour.

It is believed that they are gaining popularity among smokers trying to quit.

This comes at a time when rival British American Tobacco (BAT) chairman Richard Burrows said the company was currently exploring making electronic cigarettes.

“Our subsidiary Nicoventures is preparing to launch its first nicotine inhalation product in the UK and through our recent acquisition of CN Creative, another British company, we are now exploring the development of electronic cigarettes,” Burrows said in BAT’s latest annual report.

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