Marlboro maker Altria taking MarkTen e-cigs nationally

RICHMOND, Va. - Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is planning to expand its MarkTen electronic cigarette brand nationally in the second quarter.

The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, announced the expansion plans on Wednesday.

MarkTen was first launched in test markets in Indiana and Arizona late last year by Altria's NuMark subsidiary.

It was the last of the nation's major tobacco companies to market the battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale.

MarkTen is a disposable e-cigarette but can be reused with a charging kit and additional cartridges. It says the product's "Four Draw" technology provides a more consistent user experience.

Richmond, Va.-based Altria said the brand has quickly gained distribution in its test markets.