The new cigarette market has been shaping up as a major headache for tobacco companies as it tries to convince consumers to embrace its product and make it part of their daily routine.
As of now, there are more than 300 tobacco brands on the market, according to the International Organization for the Research on Cancer, and the list is expected to grow in coming years.
In Israel, which has seen a sharp rise in cases linked to smoking, the top three brands are Avid Life Sciences, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
Avid, which was founded in 1967, has a market share of almost 10% of the cigarette market in Israel, according the Israeli statistics agency.
The third brand is Pfizer, which came to prominence in the late 1970s and is the world’s second-largest maker of cough syrup and antihistamines.
The company is based in New York City, and has grown rapidly since the beginning of the tobacco crisis, as well as in Israel.
Avid Life Science, the oldest active brand, is known for its nicotine-replacement therapy products, which are sold in large-format packs.
Pfizer is a major player in the cigarette industry in Europe, where the company is the biggest seller and has a 25% market share.
Procter& Gamble, which is based on the East Coast, is the second-biggest tobacco producer in the world, with a market value of about $20 billion, according Euromonitor International.
Johnson & Johnson, which owns the popular Johnson & Johnson brand, has been in the news recently for its plans to sell its brand to Wal-Mart Stores for $10 billion.
In addition to its cigarette business, Johnson &Johnson produces a line of antihistamine, anti-cancer, and anti-fungal products.
Both Procters and Pfizers have made significant investments in Israel and are working hard to attract more customers, according a company official.
The Israeli government has also made several efforts to diversify its industry and boost its competitiveness in the global marketplace, and it is planning to launch a nationwide pilot program for the tobacco industry.
The government hopes to establish a national market for tobacco products by the end of 2020.
The government has set aside nearly $2 billion for the program, and tobacco companies are expected to spend more than $6 billion in the pilot, according with Bloomberg News.