Nu Mark is a wholly owned subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc. (formerly known as Phillip Morris Companies Inc.) and markets the Mark Ten cigalike brand.
Throughout the year, Annie Reiss (the Tobacco Prevention coordinator in Louiseville) has been receiving complaints from concerned residents who said that they had received electronic cigarettes in the mail.
Nu Mark says that it “markets its products to adult smokers and vapers. As a manufacturer of products intended for adults, Nu Mark has an important role to play in preventing underage tobacco use.”
The company claims to strongly support programs and legislation to prevent underage tobacco use. At the state and federal levels, they state that they support the enactment of underage access prevention legislation for ‘e-vapor’ products.
Surprisingly, given this stance on their website, the company has been actively engaging in test marketing which involves sending out unsolicited packs to households in Kentucky, USA.
"I was really surprised and discouraged. People were letting me know that they had received a packet in the mall and it was an electronic cigarette. Most people were not tobacco users. They were randomly sent out."
Similar marketing activity was also taking place across the state of Indiana.
Rob Kaiser, Liquid Palace in New Albany, has sold no packets of Mark Ten since they were launched. When asked about packets being posted to houses, Rob warned: “I totally disagree with that because there are children out there that get their mail before their parents do.”
Although a spokesperson for Nu Mark has tried to make out that addresses only came from a database of adult smokers it is notable that their website has been down for a couple of days since the story broke...which will make it difficult to follow the company’s advice to contact them in order to be removed from the mailing list.