by Mark Tarses
November 14, 2004
Tobacco companies are getting criticized for a new marketing strategy: selling flavored cigarettes with names that sound like candy. Brown & Williamson is promoting its flavored Kool cigarettes with names that include Midnight Berry, Mocha Taboo, Caribbean Chill, and Mintrigue. R.J. Reynolds flavored Camel Exotic Blends have names that include Kauai Kolada, Twista Lime, Crema, Dark Mint, Izmir Stinger, and Twist. Reynolds started marketing flavored cigarettes in 1999 and ramped up the number flavors as sales took off.
Altria (Philip Morris), the nation's largest cigarette manufacturer has decided not to sell candy or fruit flavored cigarettes because flavored cigarettes with candy names are "more appealing to children."
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, sponsored by Ted Kennedy, which is making its way through Congress, would gives the FDA the power to ban tobacco products with flavors or names that make cigarettes look like or taste like candy.
Personally, I think the tobacco companies that are marketing these candy flavored cigarettes are being very foolish. Is looks like they are begging to get sued. They all agreed to stop marketing cigarettes in ways that would make smoking appealing to children. Besides, these guys don't need more public ill will.
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