Big Tobacco companies, including Marlboro maker Altria Group and Camel maker Reynolds American, recently decided it was high time to make their way into the electronic cigarette industry. In a move that has baffled tobacco experts, new Big Tobacco e-cig products, such as MarkTen from Altria affiliate NuMark and Vuse from Reynolds, feature lengthy warning labels listing what seems like every health side effect associated with nicotine, The New York Times reported. The cloud of confusion kicked up by e-cig warning labels could be just what Big Tobacco was looking for: blurring the lines for smokers considering these products as a smoking cessation or replacement tool.

The American Lung Association issued a recent statement calling out speculative research that suggests e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit. E-cigarettes are not only an ineffective smoking cessation tool, but in many cases they are just as hazardous as regular cigarettes. FDA lab tests from 2009 found detectable levels of cancer-causing chemicals, including a main ingredient in anti-freeze, in two of the leading e-cigarette brands. A study published in 2014 found a wide range of nicotine levels found in popular e-cigarette brands revealing that smokers have no way of knowing what they’re getting in these products.

MarkTen’s warning label states:

This product is not a smoking cessation product and has not been tested as such. This product is intended for use by persons of legal age or older, and not by children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or persons with or at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or taking medicine for depression or asthma. Nicotine is addictive and habit-forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.

William Phelps, a representative for Altria, claims the 100-word warning label placed on MarkTen e-cigarette’s packaging is a result of “scientific research” and a “previously developed warning” used for regular cigarettes. He also said the decision was based on “a goal to openly and honestly communicate about health effects.” Although Big Tobacco would have smokers believe their cautioning is a noble attempt to convey potential risks, anti-smoking activists suspect the ploy is part of an underhanded marketing strategy that is not unheard of in the tobacco industry.

Some experts argue that e-cigarette warnings are simply a proactive effort to avoid potential lawsuits while appearing to be honest and straightforward about Big Tobacco products. “When I saw it, I nearly fell off my chair,” Dr. Robert K. Jackler, a professor covering research into cigarette and e-cigarette advertising at the Stanford School of Medicine, told The Times. “Is this part of a noble effort for the betterment of public health, or a cynical business strategy? I suspect the latter.”

Cynthia Cabrera, executive director of the Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association (a non-Big Tobacco e-cigarette company), told The Times these warnings are less about taking responsibility for the hazards associated with smoking and more about ingratiating lawmakers in hopes of having rules and laws sway in their favor. This support would be crucial in handling the Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing attempt to regulate age restrictions and marketing strategies for e-cigarette manufacturers.

Whatever the reasoning behind Big Tobacco’s thorough forewarning, it’s worth noting the risks involved with e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction. Evidence shows that although e-cigarettes are not intended as a cigarette replacement tool, according to Big Tobacco warning labels, over 263,000 million young Americans who have never smoked a cigarette said they used electronic cigarettes in 2013. Among these non-smoking e-cig users, 43.9 percent said they “have intensions” to smoke regular cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states these findings are proof of e-cig nicotine’s addictive nature.