Electronic cigarettes are the latest frontier for tobacco companies looking for new areas of growth in the midst of a sluggish traditional market. Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), which once shunned e-cigarettes, now calls it its "greatest growth opportunity" and is preparing to jump into the market. Altria (NYSE:MO) also tried to ignore the trend early on, but is now on board with its MarkTen brand. Lorillard's (UNKNOWN:LO.DL) blu eCigs brand is currently leading the market, which is expected to reach $1 billion in sales in the near future.

With the competition heating up, it's not surprising that companies are looking to differentiate their brands in whatever way they can. What's the best way to promote an electronic product? By claiming a technological edge, of course -- in design, battery life, smart-chip controller, or quality of vapor.

Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) turned a few heads as the only tobacco company exhibiting at a recent consumer electronics show in New York City. The company was showing off its VUSE Digital Vapor Cigarette at CES Unveiled. Our roving reporter Rex Moore was there, and talked with R.J. Reynolds' Cheryl Zukowski about the technology in the VUSE.

Rex Moore has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.