In an interview with the AP, NJOY's CEO Craig Weiss said the addition to Carmona to its board is a "very powerful step forward" in its mission to "obsolete cigarettes."
The company did not disclose how much Carmona was being compensated for his new role.
The market for e-cigarettes has grown from the thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide. Analysts estimate sales could double this year to $1 billion, and consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of traditional cigarettes in the next decade. Some companies, including NJOY, have even started running TV commercials.
Some of the nation's largest tobacco companies have moved to grab some of the growing revenue in the e-cigarette market. Reynolds American Inc., the second-biggest U.S. cigarette maker, has begun limited distribution of its first electronic cigarette under the Vuse brand. Lorillard Inc., the nation's third-biggest tobacco company, acquired e-cigarette maker Blu Ecigs last April. Some e-cigarettes are made to look like a cigarette with a tiny light on the tip that glows like the real thing.
E-cigarettes could be more heavily regulated in the near future. A recent CDC study found that one in five current smokers reported having used an e-cigarette, evidence the agency says that more oversight is needed. And the Food and Drug Administration is expected to assert regulatory authority over e-cigarettes later this year to treat them the same as traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products.
"We still have one out of five people in America smoking . . . there's a lot more work to do," Carmona said. "To dismiss (e-cigarettes) and not even consider it . . . would be a disservice to the public who are looking for alternatives."