Tobacco, one of the staple crops we all know, has fueled an industry so massive that it’s become part of our everyday lives. Tobacco goes well beyond a cigarette, right into dips, cigars, snus, hookah, and much more. Yes, tobacco has addictive properties but we’re addicted on is the opportunities that come from promoting this niche.

Assessing the Tobacco & Cigarettes Niche (and Industry)

Disclaimer: There are two sides of ethics with this industry. On one hand, you’re promoting a product which does cause bodily harm. On the other, it’s a person’s free will to enjoy these products. We won’t hold a stance on either of the debate – just provide you with the products you could be promoting.

As of 2011, the tobacco industry has been dominated by three companies: Philip Morris International, Altria Group, and Reynolds American; their collective profits reach well over $10 Billion dollars and an increase of nearly 14 – 21% stake since 2009. In short: this is an industry that, despite bans and public awareness campaigns, isn’t going away anytime soon.

Tobacco is a dangerous product, no doubt, but to each their own. There are many alternatives to cigarettes that mature adults enjoy including cigars, hookah, and the products that go along with the act of smoking.

The downside of affiliate marketing within this niche and industry is the fact that you’re not allowed to sell cigarettes over the web because of legal implications (much like alcohol); there are some exceptions to cigars and smoking accessories.

Products and Service worth Promoting

The following are a variety of tobacco related products you could become affiliated with:

  • Electronic Cigarettes – One of the fastest growing products in the United States especially because of a widespread ban on indoor smoking and an increase in cigarette prices.
  • Lighters – Commemorative, Zippos, vintage, and more, people that enjoy smoking seek a lighter that compliments their style and taste.
  • Smoke “Pouches” – Not so big in the West but certainly so in countries that are harsh on smoking within city limits – these pouches are thermal and used to dispose of butts.
  • Pipes – Classic wood pipes, metal, glass, and more, people have always been fond of pipes for their smoking pleasure.
  • Hookah – A great variety here and an ever-growing segment of the market complete with various styles, price points, flavors, and features.
  • Wraps – For those rolling their own tobacco, you’ll find these to be a decent seller.
  • Rolling Machines – Those that want to do bulk rolling will be seeking a solid investment and this is where they’ll be looking.
  • Flavor Drops – Whether it’s for e-cigs or drops to add flavor to the common cigarette, the ban on flavors has driven people to find other alternatives online.
  • Clothing – It may not be your thing to wear tobacco brands but someone out there is so why not offer these products while you’re at it?
  • Addiction Aid – People want to quit – you could go this route of recommending the various products to aid in them giving up the addiction.

The name of the game is selling the products that encompass the industry rather than the actual cigarette; focusing on these items is where you’ll be earning the dough.

Programs to Get You Started

Here are a few well performing affiliate programs to get you started:

Premium Ecigarette

  • 20% – 35% sales commission
  • 3 Month EPC: $51.71
  • 7 Day EPC: $76.54

Thompson Cigar

  • 10% sales commission
  • 3 Month EPC: $56.83
  • 7 Day EPC: $56.86

Vapage

  • 20% – 30% commission
  • 3 Month EPC: $29.18
  • 7 Day EPC: $48.78

*All stats as of Oct. 2012.

Of course, take a look at your existing affiliate networks because there will be, no doubt, a good variety of products (and services) you can begin promoting within this niche.

So, will you be addicted to this niche?